Persons with Disabilities

What are the areas we are working on in relation to persons with disabilities?

Persons with disabilities have been facing persistent and systematic exclusion from society across Europe. Over a decade ago, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) brought a paradigm shift towards a human rights approach in relation to persons with disabilities to ensure their full participation in society. Nevertheless, most persons with disabilities still face significant barriers when it comes to their inclusion in the labour market, accessing mainstream, good quality social and health care services, or attaining an adequate standard of living, among others.

At the European Centre, we are working mostly on areas that are key for the social welfare and inclusion of persons with disabilities, including employment, social protection, poverty and material deprivation, independent living, and equal access to social and health care services.

What we offer:

Researchers at the European Centre have extensive expertise in research and policy analysis related to persons with disabilities, in particular, how specific provisions of the UN CRPD are implemented in the UNECE region and how European, national, and local stakeholders work to close existing gaps and ensure the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in societies. We aim to mainstream the disability perspective in our activities, wherever it is relevant. Specifically, we:

  • Conduct comparative research (with the use of quantitative and qualitative methods) on the situation of persons with disabilities in EU Member States, and countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership.
  • Analyse policies that concern the lives of persons with disabilities (e.g. Active Labour Market Policies) and mainstream the disability perspective in broader policy discourses (e.g. in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights).
  • Assess regional, national and EU strategies relevant to persons with disabilities (e.g. deinstitutionalisation strategies in Hungary, or Armenia).
  • Offer policy advice on how to improve the implementation of the UN CRPD and facilitate the social inclusion, full participation, and equal access of persons with disabilities.
  • Identify and assess good practices to support persons with disabilities and their families in social welfare systems.
  • Build partnerships with policy makers, public authorities, service providers and the representative organisations of persons with disabilities to tackle social exclusion and poverty through innovative and human rights-based policy solutions.

Project examples

Our Team

Magdi Birtha

Magdi Birtha

RESEARCHER (CURRENTLY ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE)
Michael Fuchs

Michael Fuchs

RESEARCHER
Anette Scoppetta

Anette Scoppetta

HEAD OF WORK AND WELFARE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR