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Process of adoption of the Law on Personal Assistance in Slovenia


A public debate on the third draft of the Law on Personal Assistance for people with disabilities in Slovenia finished at the end of February 2013. With adoption of the Law the Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs is trying to meet the requirements as set out in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.T

he first draft of the Law on Personal Assistance was produced and put into the public sphere for discussion in 2010. However, this draft never got to the decision makers. Last year, a new proposal was submitted to the legislative procedure by YHD – Association for Theory and Culture of Handicap. Again, the proposal was rejected. In this draft of the proposal the main focus of the criticism centered on the vague financial structure outlined. Because of the amount of work that was put into preparing the draft, together with more than 10 years practical experience in implementing Personal Assistance, users of Personal Assistance and members of YHD were really disappointed when the third and currently final proposal came from the Ministry again in December last year.

It appears that the dissatisfaction is only intensifying as the new proposal that the Ministry prepared has no real concept.According to the advocate of the principle of equality, the draft prepared by YHD is considered as a form of civil initiative proposal and also pointed out that it is very important that the Law on Personal Assistance is adopted as soon as possible to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of disability and to start implementing and respecting the ratified UN CRPD.

He went on to further say that the legal basis for the implementation of Personal Assistance in Slovenia already exists- according to article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified five years ago. Contained in the UN CRPD is the right to the organization of community based services and one of the services which aims to provide better integration of disabled people in the society, is Personal Assistance. The advocate of the principle of equality therefore believes that the Law on Personal Assistance is not creating a new right but is only formalizing the existing ones according to the UNCRPD.Furthermore the right to independent living can also be found in the Slovenian constitution, for example, through the interpretation of non-discrimination provisions and provisions for the protection of human rights and human dignity.

YHD is now trying to explain to the Ministry that they did not comply with the established good practices that already exist in Slovenia when preparing the third draft. They are also trying to explain that the draft proposal reflects the lack of knowledge of disability issues, and what is even more important is that the draft is discriminatory because it is excluding people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities which can not be justified nor accepted.

April 19, 2013
29.04.2013

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