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Catalina Devandas-Aguilar is a Special Rapporteur on Disability
for the United Nations.

This means that she makes sure that the rights of people with disabilities
are respected.

She has visited Moldova.

She saw that the situation of people with disabilities is very bad in Moldova.

They need to close institutions because people are not well treated.

They don’t respect the rights of people with disabilities.

In Moldova, people with disabilities often stay in an institution their whole life
and they don’t see other people.

People with disabilities have the right to live on their own or with their family.
The Special Rapporteur on Disability for the United Nations said that the
government of Moldova needs to make that happen.


Institutions have to close in Moldova, has urged Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Disability, at the press conference concluding her 8-day official visit to the country.

Catalina Devandas-Aguilar visited long-stay institutions, rehabilitations centers as well as residential psychiatric centers in Moldova, her first official country visit since being appointed in December 2014 as the first UN Special Rapporteur on Disability. In her concluding statement, Mrs. Devandas-Aguilar denounced the existence of institutions segregating and violating the rights of people with disabilities. She personally witnessed that children and adults with disabilities are being locked up in institutions, sometimes for their entire lives. They suffer from neglect and have no contact with other people. The UN Special Rapporteur called for an acceleration of the efforts towards the inclusion of all children and adults with disabilities.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Disability has also been informed of serious allegations of physical, mental and sexual abuse perpetrated in the institutions. She asked for immediate action to close these institutions and guarantee effective justice for the victims.

As we pointed out in a previous article, the outdated perception of disability as a medical condition is still vivid in the Republic of Moldova. The UN Special Rapporteur stressed that people with disabilities should be considered as equal citizens. Despite some positive initiatives to implement inclusive education in the country, the government of Moldova needs to act to ensure the full inclusion and participation of all people with disabilities. Thus, Mrs. Devandas-Aguilar called for the creation of a strong network of support services in the community, covering the needs of people with disabilities. Indeed, the end of institutionalization implies that people with disabilities should be able to receive the appropriate care within their families or communities.

Mrs. Devandas-Aguilar has expressed her hope that the report will have a significant impact on the Moldovan government. As the Mental Disability Advocacy Center suggested, you can directly send a message to Moldova’s Prime Minister to encourage him and his government to be effectively responsive to this call for action by clicking here.