Recommendation Rec(2006)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Council of Europe Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of people with disabilities in society




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4. Undertake:
30. to work within anti-discriminatory and human rights frameworks towards mainstreaming equality of opportunity for people with disabilities throughout all policy areas;
31. not to discriminate on the grounds of the origin of the disability or the identity of the disabled person;
32. to enhance the possibilities of people with disabilities to carry on an independent life, within the community, through the progressive adoption of the principles of inclusive technologies and universal design inter alia in the building of environments, public facilities, communication systems and housing;
33. to work towards strengthening co-ordination across and between government departments; with a particular commitment to promoting equity in mainstream service provision, health care and the legal system as well as improving accountability between local, regional and national areas of responsibility;
34. to promote the provision of quality services, responding to the needs of individuals with disabilities which are accessed via published eligibility criteria, based on thorough and equitable assessment, shaped by the disabled person’s own choices, autonomy, welfare and representation, with proper safeguards, regulation and access to independent adjudication of complaints, and to consolidate and strengthen measures already in place;
35. to champion the inclusion of people with disabilities in all walks of life through education and by making a commitment to people with disabilities as citizens with control over their life;
36. to progress the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market by moving the focus to assessing abilities, in particular vocational abilities, and by making vocational guidance and training as well as employment more accessible;
37. to take full account of the needs of children with disabilities and their families as well as of elderly people with disabilities without detracting from the current commitments to disabled adults of working age, whether or not they are in employment, noting that employment cannot be allowed to stand as the only measure of citizenship, arena for participation and route to human dignity;
38. to continue supporting basic and applied scientific research particularly in the area of new information and communication technologies, in order to improve aids that enable interactive participation in all areas of life;
39. to implement the means necessary for an effective balancing of opportunities between men and women and active participation of persons with disabilities, with special focus on women and girls within the areas of education and training, employment, social policy, participation and decision-making, sexuality, social representation, motherhood, home and family life, and on prevention of violence;
40. to carry out further analyses of the scope of measures and provisions that would effectively improve community living for people with disabilities in need of a high level of support, and to collect the statistical data necessary for the definition and evaluation of disability policies;
41. to have the needs of families of children with disabilities carefully assessed by the responsible authorities with a view to providing measures of support to enable children to grow up with their families, to be included in local children’s life, and to receive an education;
42. to have the needs of families as providers of informal care thoroughly assessed, especially those with children with disabilities or caring for persons in need of a high level of support, with a view to providing measures of information, training and assistance, including psychological support, to enable life within the family;
43. to work on the development of programmes and resources to meet the needs of persons with disabilities as they age;

44. to foster among the population from early age health habits and life conditions in order to reach active ageing in the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;


45. to work towards the development of a positive image of people with disabilities in co-operation with various stakeholders, including the media;
46. to involve people with disabilities in decisions affecting them personally, and organisations of people with disabilities in policy making, paying special attention to people with multiple disabilities or complex disorders and those who are unable to represent themselves;
47. to promote the involvement and collaboration of the social partners and all other public and private stakeholders and actors involved in policy-making;
5. Recommend:
48. that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe continues to promote policies aimed at ensuring full citizenship and active participation of people with disabilities, with the full participation of all member states, and to strengthen the role of the Council of Europe as a platform for international co-operation in the field of disability policy-making by inviting the Committee on the Rehabilitation and Integration of People with disabilities and other relevant Council of Europe committees to further mainstream disability policies within their areas of competence;
49. the elaboration, taking into account the considerations raised at this Ministerial Conference, of a Council of Europe Action Plan for people with disabilities: a new European policy framework for the next decade, based on human rights and partnership between different actors, setting up strategic objectives and priority issues in order to achieve full citizenship and active participation of people with disabilities in the life of the community, through workable, affordable and sustainable policies;
50. that the Council of Europe plays an active role in the negotiations in the context of the forthcoming sessions of the United Nations Ad hoc Committee established “to consider proposals for a comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities”, by making use of the Council’s extensive experience in human rights matters;
6. Invite:
51. all Council of Europe member and observer states and representatives from European non-governmental organisations to participate in the activities and work of the Council relating to the enhancing of a coherent policy for and through full participation of people with disabilities;
7. Wish:
52. to share the beliefs, values and principles concerning the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people with disabilities, as well as full citizenship and active participation in the life of the community, set out in this Declaration of European Ministers, and identified as common European features, with everybody, including people outside Europe.
* * *
Finally, we thank the Spanish authorities for the excellent organisation of the Conference and for their generous hospitality.

Appendix 2 to the Action Plan
Reference Texts
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ETS No. 5);
European Social Charter (ETS No. 35) and European Social Charter (revised) (ETS No. 163);
European Code of Social Security (ETS No. 48), Protocol to the European Code of Social Security (ETS No. 48A), European Code of Social Security (revised) (ETS No. 139);
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No. 164);
European Convention on Architectural Heritage (ETS No. 121);
Landscape Convention (ETS No. 176);
“Strategy for Social Cohesion” adopted by the European Committee for Social Cohesion of the Council of Europe on 12 May 2000;
Recommendation No. R (86) 18 of the Committee of Ministers on the European Charter on Sport for all: disabled persons;
Recommendation No. R (92) 6 of the Committee of Ministers on a coherent policy for people with disabilities;
Resolution ResAP(95)3 on a charter on the vocational assessment of people with disabilities;
Recommendation No. R (96) 5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on reconciling work and family life;
Recommendation No. R (98) 3 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on access to higher education;
Recommendation No. R (98) 9 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on dependence;
Recommendation No. R (99) 4 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the legal protection of incapable adults;
Recommendation Rec(2001)12 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the adaptation of health care services to the demand for health care and health care services of people in marginal situations;
Recommendation Rec(2001)19 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the participation of citizens in local public life;
Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence;
Recommendation Rec(2003)3 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making;
Recommendation Rec(2003)19 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on improving access to social rights;
Recommendation Rec(2004)10 of the Committee of Ministers to member states concerning the protection of the human rights and dignity of persons with mental disorder;
Recommendation Rec(2004)11 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting;
Recommendation Rec(2004)15 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on electronic governance (“e-governance”);
Recommendation Rec(2005)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the rights of children living in residential institutions;
Resolution ResAP(2001)1 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the introduction of the principles of Universal Design into the curricula of all occupations working on the built environment (“The Tomar Resolution”);
Resolution ResAP(2001)3 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe “Towards full citizenship for people with disabilities through inclusive new technologies”;
Resolution ResAP(2005)1 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on safeguarding adults and children with disabilities against abuse;
Recommendation 1185 (1992) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on rehabilitation policies for the disabled;
Recommendation 1418 (1999) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the protection of the human rights and dignity of the terminally ill and the dying;
Recommendation 1560 (2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe “Towards concerted efforts for treating and curing spinal cord injury”;
Recommendation 1592 (2003) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe “Towards full social inclusion of persons with disabilities”;
Recommendation 1598 (2003) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on protection of sign languages in the member states of the Council of Europe;
Recommendation 1601 (2003) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on improving the lot of abandoned children in institutions;
Recommendation 1698 (2005) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the rights of children in institutions;
Resolution 216 (1990) of the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (currently the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (Congress)) on the rehabilitation and integration of the disabled: role of local authorities;
Congress Recommendation 129 (2003) and Resolution 153 (2003) on employment and vulnerable groups;
Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life (Congress), 21 May 2003;
Final Declaration adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the member states of the Council of Europe, meeting in Strasbourg for the Second Summit of the Council of Europe (October 1997), who recognised that “social cohesion is one of the foremost needs of the wider Europe and should be pursued as an essential complement to the promotion of human rights and dignity”;
Final Declaration (Malta Declaration) adopted at the Council of Europe Conference on Access to Social Rights, 14-15 November 2002;
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights contributions;
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989);
United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966);
United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966);
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948);
United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993);
UNESCO Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (1994);
International Plan of Action on Ageing, adopted by the Second World Assembly on Ageing, Madrid, 8-12 April 2002;
Regional Implementation Strategy for the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002, adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Ministerial Conference on Ageing, Berlin, 11-13 September 2002;
International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH) (1980) of the World Health Organisation (WHO);
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) (2001) of the World Health Organisation (WHO);
Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) (No.C159), 1983, and the corresponding ILO Recommendation on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) (No. R168), 1983
Resolution of the Council and the Ministers for Education meeting with the Council of 31 May 1990 concerning integration of children and young people with disabilities into ordinary systems of education;
Communication of the Commission on Equality of Opportunity for People with Disabilities: a New European Community Disability Strategy (COM(96) 406 final);
Resolution of the Council of the European Union and of the representatives of the governments of the member states meeting within the Council of 20 December 1996 on equality of opportunity for people with disabilities;
Council Recommendation of 4 June 1998 on a parking card for people with disabilities (98/376/EC);
Council Resolution of 17 June 1999 on equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities (1999/C 186/02);
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Towards a Barrier Free Europe for People with Disabilities (COM(2000) 284 final);
Council Directive (2000/78/EC) of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation;
Council Decision (2000/750/EC) of 27 November 2000 establishing a Community action programme to combat discrimination (2001-2006);
Council Decision (2001/903/EC) of 3 December 2001 on a European Year of People with Disabilities 2003;
Council Resolution on 6 February 2003 “eAccessibility” – improving the access of people with disabilities to the knowledge based society, (2003/C 39/03);
Council Resolution of 5 May 2003 on equal opportunities for pupils and students with disabilities in education and training (2003/C 134/04);
Council Resolution on 6 May 2003 on accessibility of cultural infrastructure and cultural activities for people with disabilities (2003/C 134/05);
Council Resolution of 15 July 2003 on promoting the employment and social integration of people with disabilities (2003/C 175/01);
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: eAccessibility (COM(2005) 425 final);
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Implementation, results and overall assessment of the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003 (COM(2005) 486 final);
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Situation of disabled people in the enlarged European Union: the European Action Plan 2006-2007 (COM(2005) 604 final);
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Equal opportunities for people with disabilities: a European Action Plan (COM(2003) 650 final);
Madrid Declaration “Non-discrimination plus positive action results in social inclusion”, adopted at the European Conference of non-governmental organisations held in Madrid, March 2002;
Barcelona Declaration: the City and the Disabled (1995);
Declaration of the European Social Partners on the employment of people with disabilities (Cologne, May 1999);
Declaration of the Social Partners for the European Year of People with Disabilities: Promoting equal opportunities and access to employment for people with disabilities (20 January 2003);
Contribution of the European disability movement to the Council of Europe Second European Conference on disability “From words to deeds”, adopted at the European NGO Forum on 8 April 2003 in Madrid.


1 Geneva, 2001.

2 Safeguarding adults and children with disabilities against abuse, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, 2003,
ISBN 92-871-4919-4.

3 Discrimination against women with disabilities, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, 2003, ISBN 92-871-5316-7, Community living for people with disabilities in need of a high level of support, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2004.

4 Any reference in this Action Plan to women with disabilities is understood to include girls with disabilities.

5 Community living for people with disabilities in need of a high level of support, op. cit.

6 Framework for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of data on the ageing of people with disabilities, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, 1998, ISBN 92-871-3327-1.

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