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Open Letter to the Government, Members of National Assembly Competent Institutions and Policy Makers


Ljubljana January 30 2008 

We are addressing this letter to a wider political audience and the general public on purpose because our requests and plights to solve our problems are usually passed from one institution to another and are usually left unresolved. Nobody replies to our letters and everyone washes their hands over our issues, saying that they are not authorized to deal with them. Just before the end of the year we sent a letter to the members of the National Assembly (parliament), one of the many letters that was ignored. We sent a report titled “Deinstitutionalisation and Community Living – Outcomes and Costs”, financed by the European Commission (EC) and another appeal to the Decision of the distribution FIHO (Foundation for Financing Invalid and Humanitarian Organizations) funds, and yet again, no reply, because everybody is used to distributing the FIHO funds based on sympathies and favouritism.

The member of the National Assembly Barbara Žgajner-Tavš was the only one who asked the Minister of Family Labour and Social Affairs, Mrs. Cotman to do something about it, but her appeal was met with silence. What else can we expect based on the years of experience that we have with dealing with that particular ministry? We also sent a letter to the President of the Republic of Slovenia, however he has not replied to this day.  

Actually, this is old news to us and with all the absurdities that took place in the National Assembly last fall when an act was amended in such a way that FIHO has even more power than ever before few things can surprise us. The Act gave way to privileged groups, elitism, and opaque distribution of earmarked funds. We didn’t have to wait long to see the functionaries of the disability organisations at FIHO to (ab)use their power that they hold in the bodies of the foundation. Not only was this year’s distribution of funds questionable to say the least, the enclosed disclaimer was, as it later turned out, misleading. All of us who dared to appeal to the decision of distribution of the funds for the year 2008 were punished by losing the associated monthly payment until the National Assembly approves the appeal procedure.

The procedure may take a long time and until then we must make monthly payments to the 91 personal assistants that we employ. Without a quick resolution of the issue at hand we are facing the dismantling of our programme and consequently deprivation of 103 of our users and 99 unemployed persons. Let us remind you that the FIHO funds allocated to YHD for the year 2008 is less than we require for the normal functioning of our programme. This is the reason why we appealed because we were well aware that the priorities of financing and appropriate destination of the funds are not being taken into consideration.For six years we have been writing proposals and initiatives and amendments to the acts and laws concerning the foundation. We have also proposed numerous systemic solutions that would regulate the field of social care on the long run and ensure independent living, deinstitutionalisation, empowerment of an individual who should have full control over the services are implemented.

Political decisions and the political will shown is nothing but outright mockery. Our arguments, dialog, and institutional and legal procedures have turned out to be a waste of time, energy and money. We are repulsed with everything that has taken place and is allowed to happen. It seems that the results of one’s work mean nothing in this country and bear no importance at all. All that counts is to be on the right side, to be corrupt, to be ready to do anything, to be cunning, to use all methods of pressure and extortion, but of course you need the resources for lobbying and the legal machinery that clears the possible complaints or makes use of legal exhaustion. The most productive profession in Slovenia is a profession of a disabled person.

The already mentioned report of the EC is very telling. The part of the report that describes Slovenia by a researcher at the University of Siegen (Germany) notes in the introduction that in spite the many appeals to Ministry of Work, Family and Social Affairs, the National Education Institute and Ministry of Health she received no reply from either of these institutions. Her main source of information about Slovenia was thus a report titled “Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities; Accessibility to Education and Employment by Prof. Darja Zaviršek that she prepared with the support of the Open Society Institute and  EUMAP (EU Monitoring and Advocacy Programme). 

The EC report supports the development of community services and independent living of the disabled at the highest level possible and cites only two positive examples: the Silva Foundation and the YHD Association.  This is tragic given that Government Council for Persons with Disabilities published a special publication in which it aims to discredit us and settle account with our association (with no consequences or accepting responsibility for their actions up to this point). What is especially tragic and pitiful is the fact that there are two bodies within the framework of the Ministry of Work, Family and Social Affairs: the Directorate for the Disabled and last but not least the Committee on Labour, the Family Social Policy and Disability that do not seem to be competent enough to offer answers to the new challenges brought about by the new concepts in the field of social, invalid and health care, and above all human rights and equality.  

What else can we do to preserve our existence? 

We need to somehow force you to make things right. 

Just so we are clear about the institutions that we have in mind in the “you” in the sentence above: 

The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, The Government of the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Work, Family and Social Affairs, Commission for Petitions, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, Committee on Labour, the Family Social Policy and Disability   

Elena Pečarič - president Association for Theory and Culture of Handicap 


04.02.2008

All news:

Media and Disability
Media and disability
Bishop
Are there any changes in preparations for Paraolympics?
U.N Issues Stamps to Commemorate Disability Treaty
Beijing 'sorry' for offending disabled
Government unveils new package for disabled children
China Sets Gold Standard in Offending Disabled
Smederevo Coalition
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On Empowerment
Assistive Technologies
Press Conference
Wishes could come true
Seminar on reforms of social protection system
National Conference on Gender Equality
Mobility International Seeks Young Adults
Wal-Mart settles with applicant with disability [USA]
First Contestant with a Disability to Compete for Miss USA Title
INFO - CENTER
INACCESSIBILITY IS DISCRIMINATION!
UN Convention on PWDs rights
Conference on National strategy for Youth
Bits and pieces from Slovenija
Meeting with Bozidar Djelic
Focus group “Social services for PWDs“
SHARE SEE Grantee Training
Make a date
It's Okay to Stare... Then Engage a Question!
Sombor hosted workshop "sex, gender, disability"
Dancing Beyond Disability
Seminar HUMAN BEING AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
Project From Alternative to Standardisation
The regional group of experts in social service provision for people with disabilities
Youth Regional conference
Are we going to Europe?
Disability Guide to Disneyland Paris
POI Conference "From cause to the result: New approaches towards disability"
Open Letter to the Government, Members of National Assembly Competent Institutions and Policy Makers
Centre plan for disabled actors
An Autistic Dream
MEETING ON DISABILITY ISSUES IN SERBIA
A PARAGIDM SHIFT FROM 'CHARITY' TO 'RIGHTS AND DIGNITY'
Transport benefits
New Visa rules
Disabled rights champion honoured
Map of the World
Serbia is going to sign UN CRPD
WORKSHOP IN CAIRO
Seminar on Women with Disabilities
Adaptation of living environment for Persons with Disabilities
Program „Contact Organisations from the Civil Society”
Community Living for Disabled People Must Be Made a Priority
Celebrating 3rd December
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FILM FESTIVAL OBSERVING 3 DECEMBER
National Umbrella Organisation mark 3rd of December
ENDING OF SHARE SEE TRAINING PROGRAM
SHARE SEE IV MODULE – NISKA BANJA
IMPORTANT DAYS TO CELEBRATE
To Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
SHARE SEE training in Predejane
Recognising the Rights of Girls and Women with Disabilities
SHARE SEE IV MODULE IN SMEDEREVO
Creation the Local Plans of Actions in Disability Area
SHARE SEE IV MODULE – BELGRADE
TODAY IS THE DAY OF UN
Goodbye mouse hello voice controls
Elena Pecaric
Award
AWARENESS RISING
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF POVERTY REDUCTION
ADA RESTORATION ACTION CENTER
WHERE IS SERBIA
Disability Rights Treaty on Verge of Making History?
The Days of European Heritage in Belgrade, 20-30 of September
Council of Europe in Zagreb
Seoul Declaration
Virtual interpreter turns speech into sign language
Strasbourg Freedom Drive
UN Convention
Jagodina hosted the Third Table tennis tournament "Jagodina Trophy"
Hungary ratified UN Convention
Convention on Child Protection
UN convention on disability rights reaches milestone in signatories
IIIrd INTERNATIONAL SMILING CHILD FESTIVAL
Your dressing room on the Internet
Chosen home life a basic right for disabled people
SPORT RESULTS
What Can They Do?
III Module of trainings accomplished
SHARE SEE trainings
Project with young activists finished
Special EUROBAROMETER 263 “Discrimination in the European Union”
Seminar on Independent Living in Macedonia
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International Day of Families (15 May)
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Test on Autism
UN Headquarters, New York, NY
Presentation the UN Convention in Belgrade
Presentation of UN Convention on rights of persons with disabilities in Jagodina
SHARE SEE training in Belgrade
SHARE SEE training for Leskovac cluster
SHARE SEE Module II in Nis
The U.S. Embassy has a pleasure to invite you
SHARE SEE trainings Module II
I N T E R V I E W
GATEWAY
DYSGRAPHIA
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Launch of the Year of Equal Opportunities
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Awards for the best Campaign, PAs and users within the PASS project
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STRATEGY
EDUCATION FOR MEMBERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN NOVI SAD ON BASIC FACTS ON DISABILITY ISSUES!
AWARDS COMPETITION
UN Convention adopted
Tribune on UN Convention in Novi Sad
Round table in Sarajevo
Evropean Union and Persons with Disabilities
Promotion of International Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
PASS presentation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
International Day of Disabled Persons
World Congress on Disability
N. Korea puts disabled in camps
Universal Design
European Conference in St Petersburg
UN reward to Poland
SHARE SEE Training in Belgrade
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SHARE SEE Training in Leskovac
UN Convention
DISABLED PEOPLE FROM SPANISH INDEPENDENT LIVING MOVEMENT HAVE CANCELLED THEIR LOCK IN
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Geneva, 23 August 2006
SHARE SEE Training in Smederevo
SHARE SEE Training in Krusevac
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The implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategy goes on
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E-ACCESSIBILITY TO BE THEME FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY
New CIL branch
CIL Sport Competition
United Nations takes a big step towards accessibility
Social service for PWDs in the Republic of Serbia
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Study visits in Brussels for delegates of disabled people organisations from the Western Balkans on 27-29 June 2006
Poverty
EDF Annual General Meeting
Brochure on CIL 10th Anniversary



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