HRC 52 - EU Intervention at the Panel on disabilities

Focus on Support systems to ensure the community inclusion of persons with disabilities, including as a means of building forward better after the COVID-19 pandemic

Mr. President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

Persons with disabilities have the right to live independently and be included in the community on an equal basis with others regardless of their age. Developing family and community-based services, accessible environments, and other conditions for independent living are essential.

The EU is prioritising its financial support to these developments in its Member States. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed gender and economic inequalities stemming from the organization of traditional care models, and highlighted the need for investment in gender-responsive and disability-inclusive health and social care systems and specific complementary support to persons with disabilities and their support networks. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the barriers that persons with disabilities face in accessing health services, including emergency and intensive care on an equal basis with others.

Furthermore, as the digital transformation continues to reshape society, accessibility of technologies and digital services in relation to education, employment, communication, leisure, and basic services, becomes ever more important.

The actions in our Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and legislation such as the European Accessibility Act, as well as EU funding, all play a part in supporting a just transition which should leave no-one behind. 

Recognising the need for continuous improvements, we welcome the panel reflections on how to improve community inclusion of persons with disabilities.

I thank you.