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Mental Disability Advocacy Center is an organization.

In collaboration with the United Nations, they wrote a report

on the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities and/or mental
health problems in Moldova.

 

The report is the result of three years of research on the law
and policies in Moldova related to people with intellectual disabilities
or mental health problems.

 

The study shows some advancement of the rights of persons 

with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems.
For example, persons with disabilities under guardianship can vote
now. But there are still laws that need to change to make sure
that people with disabilities can enjoytheir rights like any other
citizen.

 

 

Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC) and the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) released a report last week on the human rights of persons with intellectual disabilities and/or mental health problems in the Republic of Moldova.

The study addresses many of the struggles that people with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems face on a daily basis through the lens of international human rights law, with particular reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which Moldova ratified in 2010.

The report focuses on three rights enshrined in the CRPD: the right to inclusive education, the right to legal capacity and the right to independent living in the community. Undertaken between 2012 and 2015 by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in collaboration with MDAC, the study aimed at assessing key aspects of the domestic law and policy framework regarding persons with mental health problems or intellectual disabilities in Moldova.

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of a large range of actors, Moldova has made some progress in strengthening the rights of children and adults with disabilities. Thus, the report underlines the improvement of inclusive schooling and the development of community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities. Another significant advancement is the recognition of equal voting rights for all persons with disabilities under guardianship in the country, allowing them to participate in elections  for the first time last June.

Despite these encouraging improvements, concerns remain regarding some policies and practices. Many persons with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities placed under guardianship continue to be denied the right to decide for themselves and are still prohibited from undertaking basic socio-legal acts such as marrying, divorcing or signing an employment contract. When deprived of legal capacity, they are often institutionalized against their will. Forced to live in segregated institutions, where violence and abuse are reportedly common, they are cut off from their community. Some basic liberties and dignities are often denied to the residents. 

MDAC Executive Director, Oliver Lewism hopes that the report will be used by the Government, civil society actors and others to continue to drive reforms in Moldova.