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					European Disability Forum


Mr Giorgio Napolitano
Presidente della Repubblica
Presidenza della Repubblica
Palasszo del Quirinale, 00187
Roma – Piazza del Quirinale /Italy
Tel: 06 46991, Fax: 06 46993125

                                                            Brussels, 23 June 2011
                                                      Ref. EDF-011-65-YV-JG-vn

Honourable President,
RE: European Disability Forum support to the demands from organizations of
people with disabilities (FISH and FAND) against the restrictions of rights of
persons with disabilities in the Italy.
The European Disability Forum (EDF), the umbrella organisation representing
more than 80 million disabled people in Europe has been informed about the
situation in Italy regarding policy reform on the rights of Persons with
disabilities. It is with great worries that EDF sees that the rights and interests of
persons with disabilities in the Italy are being endangered by the current
reform proposals by the government.
On June 23, Disabled Peoples Organizations (FISH and FAND) will take to the
streets a protest to ask to the Italian Government to amend its policies that,
over the years, have largely penalized persons with disabilities and their
families.
For over two years, now, drastic and indiscriminate budget cuts to social
policies have exacerbated the marginalization of an increasing number of
persons with disabilities. The progressive erosion of the National Fund for
Social Policies and the National Fund for person who need support will
deprive of all forms of assistance 20% of persons with disabilities living in the
North of the country, 30% living in the Centre and 50% living in the South,
starting from 2012. A dramatic scenery which is severely penalizing families,
further overburdening and impoverish them.
Statistical data published by the National Institute of Statistics, according to
which 25% of the population in Italy lives experiences constant marginalization,
will inevitably get worse.
A perspective that gets even more gloomy given the budget cuts to policies for
employment of persons with disabilities and the ever more limited resources
to public school, which are slowly paving the way for a return to “special
schools”.
Italy was already spending very few for social policies: in relation to the
national GDP, Italy was allocating less than other European countries average.
Now it spends even less: by dismantling even a minimal protection system, the
effects will severely pass to marginalization, impoverishment and the risk of
institutionalization.
This is happening just now that Italy, together with 17 other European member
states, has ratified the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities,
along with the European Union itself. At this stage EDF would like to remind the
Italian government about its obligations, after ratification of the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, mainly with article 4.1.d
“to refrain from engaging in any act of practice that is inconsistent with the
present Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in
conformity with the present Convention”
Over the last few years, the European Disability Forum, has urged member
States Governments and the EU (it also recently met with President Barroso)
not to let persons with disability pay the cost of this world economic crisis, who
have no responsibility whatsoever. EDF has adopted a resolution on the
observatory on impact of the economic crisis on the rights of persons with
disabilities, in which the Italian case will be fully analysed and assessed in
cooperation with our Italian colleagues.
For this reason, supporting the national demonstration called by the Forum for
the Third Sector and the associations gathered in the national campaing “I
diritti alzano la voce” (rights are raising their voice), the European Disability
Forum is joining in to the requests put forward by the Italian Disabled Peoples
Organizations so that their human rights are respected and policies of social
inclusion, non discrimination and equal opportunities are duly realized.
Yours sincerely,




Yannis Vardakastanis
President of EDF

				
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