Article 16 - Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse - Article 16

Convention Text

1.1 States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender-based aspects. R1

1.2 States Parties shall also take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including through the provision of information and education on how to avoid, recognise and report instances of exploitation, violence and abuse. States Parties shall ensure that protection services are age-, gender- and disability-sensitive. R2

1.3 In order to prevent the occurrence of all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, States Parties shall ensure that all facilities and programmes designed to serve persons with disabilities are effectively monitored by independent authorities. R3

1.4 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protection services. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment that fosters the health, welfare, self-respect, dignity and autonomy of the person and takes into account gender- and age-specific needs. R4

1.5 States Parties shall put in place effective legislation and policies, including women- and child-focused legislation and policies, to ensure that instances of exploitation, violence and abuse against persons with disabilities are identified, investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.

 

Declaration of Needs and Characteristics

2.1 Two studies undertaken under the auspices of the European Blind Union in 2003 found anecdotal evidence that blind and partially-sighted people, especially women and girls, are subjected to a higher incidence of violence compared to the rest of the population. This violence can be sustained over long periods of time.

2.2 Blind and partially-sighted people are in an especially vulnerable position when they are recipients of violence. They may not be able to physically identify their attacker. They may not be aware that there are any witnesses to the attack that they are experiencing. They may not have the information they need to seek help if the violence they are experiencing is being perpetrated by a relative, friend or acquaintance.

2.3 There is currently insufficient statistical data collected and collated in European countries to establish the extent to which violence experienced by blind and partially-sighted people is higher than for the rest of the population.

2.4 Blind and partially-sighted women and girls, like their normally sighted contemporaries who have experienced violence, need to have access to support services such as refuges.

2.5 Blind and partially-sighted children and young people can be particularly vulnerable to violence or abuse from relatives, carers or professional staff because of their visual impairments. They can also be especially vulnerable to bullying or harassment from their normally sighted peers. Many blind and partially-sighted children and young people have additional sensory, physical, learning and/or emotional disabilities that can increase their vulnerability to abuse and violence.

2.6 Blind and partially-sighted people who receive community or residential care because of age or additional disabilities are also vulnerable to abuse, violence, bullying, harassment or exploitation from relatives, carers, professional staff and other residents.

 

Important Aspects of Convention Text

3.1 Convention text - R1 1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender-based aspects.

3.2 Requirement - Government agencies should collect, collate and publish statistical information on the incidence and nature of violence (that constitutes a legal offence) experienced by blind and partially-sighted women, men, girls and boys.

3.3 Requirement - Governmental agencies should give priority to collecting age and gender specific information about the nature and incidence of violence experienced by blind and partially-sighted people and to apprehending suspects.

3.4 Convention text - R2. 2. States Parties shall also take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including through the provision of information and education on how to avoid, recognise and report instances of exploitation, violence and abuse. States Parties shall ensure that protection services are age-, gender- and disability-sensitive.

3.5 Convention text - R3. 3. In order to prevent the occurrence of all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, States Parties shall ensure that all facilities and programmes designed to serve persons with disabilities are effectively monitored by independent authorities.

3.6 Requirement - Agencies responsible for inspecting the provision of care and education of blind and partially-sighted children and young people must ensure that their policies and practices take full account of the fact that they are vulnerable to violence or abuse from relatives, carers, peers or professional staff because of their visual impairments and that many blind and partially sighted children and young people have additional disabilities, thereby increasing their vulnerability.

3.7 Requirement - Staff employed by agencies responsible for inspecting and regulating education, social, vocational and other services for blind and partially-sighted people must receive training to appreciate why blind and partially-sighted people are more vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation, to recognise the circumstances that increase their vulnerability and the signs that such incidents have occurred.

3.8 Convention text - R4 4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protection services. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment that fosters the health, welfare, self-respect, dignity and autonomy of the person and takes into account gender- and age-specific needs.

3.9 Requirement - Government agencies should promote and support the establishment and publicise a range of supportive services and activities that have the capability to assist blind and partially-sighted women and girls who are experiencing, or are threatened with violence, as well as provide services to help blind and partially-sighted people to recover from the psychological and other effects of violence and abuse. This will require active collaboration with organisations that provide shelter, counselling and listening services or other support services for women who are victims of violence.