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France in breach of disability rights in European Social Charter, says Council of Europe

blind man walking with guide dog

The European Committee on Social Rights of the Council of Europe (ECSR)  has concluded that France has violated the European Social Charter with regards to the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Council of Europe report found that French law and policies were insufficient to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to their rights, and that persons with disabilities continue to face significant barriers in society.

The report also criticized the lack of implementation and enforcement of measures aimed at improving the lives of persons with disabilities in France.

The Committee also concludes there has been a violation of the Charter because of the failure of the authorities to adopt effective measures to remedy the problems related to the inclusion of children and adolescents with disabilities in mainstream schools (Article 15§1) and to access to health care services for persons with disabilities (Article 11§1). In addition, there is a violation of Article 16 on the ground that the shortage of support services and the lack of accessibility of buildings and facilities, as well as public transport, causes many families to live in precarious circumstances, and thus amounts to a lack of protection of the family.

This decision follows a complaint (n°168/2018) introduced by the European Disability Forum and Inclusion Europe against France. This violation of the Social Charter could have significant implications for France in terms of its obligations to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. For more information, go to https://www.coe.int/en

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