Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: Ana Laura Aiello

Institutionalised and deinstitutionalised intellectually disabled persons in Europe

Intellectually disabled persons are victims of terrible violations of their human rights.

The term 'institutionalisation' is generally used to refer to the situation of persons, in our case disabled persons, who are in institutional settings of various types, for example, a psychiatric hospital.

In a majority of cases, these persons do not enjoy, in practice, a respect for their human rights. Under both international human rights law and national legislation, the gap between written human rights law and the situation in reality is enormous.

There are different methods which can be used to achieve an effective respect for human rights in practice. Examples include human rights monitoring and reporting, media campaigns, or strategic litigation.

I intend with my research to explore in detail the potential of the precedent various methods, with special emphasis on strategic litigation. The analysis is primarily focused on the power of using those resources provided by international human rights law.

Some questions which I intend to answer are ...

  • How the social model of disability can be applied to institutionalised and deinstitutionalised intellectually disabled persons in Europe?
  • A treatment which doesn't fulfill a person's therapeutic needs should be considered as a case of arbitrary detention?

Is it possible to improve the work done in the international sphere with some experiences offered by national equality commissions?

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