Article 19 – United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 19 reaffirms the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and requires States Parties to take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right, including by ensuring that:

  • persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;
  • persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;
  • community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.

The implementation of the right to live independently and to be included in the community would require, among other elements:

  • The establishment of equal recognition before the law for all persons with disabilities and the provision of supported decision-making, when needed, to ensure that all persons have choice and control over their lives on equal basis with others;
  • The end of forced institutionalization, which represents a form of deprivation of liberty based on disability and is against the CRPD;
  • A deinstitutionalization process, which requires a systemic transformation and includes the closure of institutional settings, the provision of individualized support services and the availability of inclusive mainstream services in respect of the will and preferences of the person.
  • The adequate allocation of resources to provide individualized support services and inclusive mainstream services.

UNCRPD Committee Day of General Discussions on Article 19 the Right to live independently and be included in the community April 2016