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European Council Adopts Plan To Promote Rights And Self-Determination
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 11, 2006

STRASBOURG, FRANCE--The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers last week adopted a proposal intended to promote and protect the rights of Europeans with disabilities over the next 10 years.

Entitled the "Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation in society of people with disabilities: improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in Europe 2006-2015", the recommendation tries to shift the focus of the Council's 46 member states away from a medical, health care model and toward a social and human rights approach.

The plan includes 15 separate "action lines", covering such things as education, employment, physical accessibility, transportation, community living, legal protection, and the participation of people with disabilities in political, public and social life.

It also promotes the values of self-determination and the idea that people with disabilities and their allies need to be involved in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. The Committee recommended that governments work together with disability-related groups when developing policies and programs.

According to a press statement, the plan will be launched this coming September at a conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Text of Recommendation (Council of Europe)


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