Article  19 of the United  Nations  (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) sets out the right to live independently and be included in the community. It lies at the heart of the convention. It represents “the sum of the various parts of the convention” and brings together the principles of equality, autonomy and inclusion.1 These underpin the convention’s human rights-based approach to disability. This paper shortens the name of the right to the right to independent living. The CRPD does not specifically mention deinstitutionalisation. However, the Committee  on  the  Rights  of  Persons   with   Disabilities   (CRPD  Committee) has underlined that it is an essential component of fulfilling Article 19, given that “independent living and being included in the community refer to life settings outside residential institutions of all kinds”.2 There is no internationally accepted definition of deinstitutionalisation. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has described it as “a process that provides for a shift in living arrangements for persons with disabilities, from institutional and other segregating settings to a system enabling social participation where services are provided in the community according to individual will and preference.”3 This report uses ‘the transition from institutional to community-based support’ interchangeably with ‘deinstitutionalisation’.

Author European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights