Care home admissions risk breaching human rights of older people
The European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee rapporteur, M. Liberadzki, has published his draft report to European Commission proposal for a recast of Regulation. As the regulation includes important provision on the right to transport and the right to assistance, the European Disability Forum (EDF) published a position paper last October highlighting their key priorities for the revision.
The halve of the 48-hour pre-notification rule to book assistance is a step in the right direction but it means that persons with disabilities would still be unable to travel spontaneously. This is the most important step for people with disability when it comes to travelling like everybody else.
The EDF is pleased that the Transport and Tourism Committee rapporteur listened to some of the concerns. For example, the EDF welcomes clarification that booking of assistance needs to be free of charge. They also welcome the proposal to strengthen the power of National Enforcement Bodies (NEBs) to deal with individual complaints, as well as the proposed involvement of Disabled Person’s Organisations in audits of the assistance services provided.
The rapporteur is seeking to halve the 48-hour pre-notification rule to book assistance. This is a step in the right direction but it means that persons with disabilities would still be unable to travel spontaneously. So the Disability Forum is calling for "Turn up and go" to be the norm everywhere so that persons with disabilities can travel like everybody else.
Finally, the Forum has concerns about the fact that some of the amendments proposed would weaken the European Commission’s proposal. The EDF will be working with MEPs and propose further amendments over the next few weeks. This is a unique opportunity to ensure persons with disabilities have an equal right to access rail transport - it should not be missed.
All EU Member States have now ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). They have an obligation to ensure that its provisions on accessibility are upheld. Independent and spontaneous travel is not a reality for most persons with disabilities in Europe. The EDF hopes that MEPs will table their proposed amendments in order to address this long-standing discrimination. They are particularly keen to eliminate the requirement for pre-notification when booking assistance for rail travel. They also want to make absolutely sure that all rail staff undergo thorough disability-related training.