© Independent Living Institute
Independent Living Institute,
Storforsplan 36, 10 tr
123 47 Farsta
Tel. 08-506 22 179
Government Implementation of
the Standard Rules
As Seen By Member Organizations of
Rehabilitation International - RI
Download 'RI Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (131 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in law, in guidelines adopted by the government, in policy adopted by political parties and in policy adopted by NGOs. In addition, Article 21 of the Constitution makes reference to disability and constitutes a mandate for legislative and administrative action. The emphasis in this policy - in descending scale - is on individual support, rehabilitation, prevention, accessibility measures and anti-discrimination law.
Since the adoption of the Rules, the following has been made in order to convey the message of full participation: relevant spots on T.V. and various events relating to the International Day of Disabled Persons. A recent Law (1995) prescribes T.V. and radio time to be allocated to awareness raising messages. Proposed legislation recognizes the International Day of the Disabled.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special legislation and general legislation. The judicial mechanism adopted to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through courts). The non-judicial mechanism is a governmental body (administrative).
General legislation applies to persons with different disabilities with respect to education, employment, the right to marriage, the right to parenthood/family, political rights, access to court of law, the right to privacy and to property rights. However, the right of privacy is constrained by accessibility barriers and the resultant overprotection/dependency. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling and financial security. According to the Government, even the benefits of employment, independent living and participation in decisions affecting themselves are guaranteed by law.
Since the adoption of the Rules, the Law for raising time in the mass media has been enacted as well as a special law, dealing with the conditions and overseeing the mechanisms for the provision of organized welfare services, some of which apply to facilities and services for disabled persons.
There are rules to ensure accessibility of the built environment which establish national design standards requiring that public places and the outdoor environment are made accessible. According to the Government, there are rules to ensure the accessibility in the means of public transportation. No responsible body exists to ensure accessibility in the built environment. The following measures have been promoted to ensure accessibility in the built environment: levelling off pavements, marking parking areas, installing lifts and accessible toilets, ensuring access to public places and providing specially adapted motor vehicles. Special transport arrangements include accessible buses, urban transportation being free for commuters, and discounts, existing for long distance travel. Special transport is available for medical treatment, education and for recreational purpose. The most difficult obstacles, when planning to build accessible environments, are economic/budgetary factors, lack of planning and design-capacity, lack of user participation, lack of co-operation from other organizations/institutions and lack of enforcement mechanism. The Government does not regard economic/budgetary factors as an obstacle for building accessible environments. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people has no officially recognized status, is not used as the first language in education of deaf people and is not recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are government measures to encourage media to make their information services accessible to persons with disabilities, but no government measures to encourage other forms of public information to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others: literature in Braille/tape, news magazines on tape/Braille and sign language interpretation being available for major events only.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is a national umbrella organization. There are legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with governmental institutions. Organizations of persons with disabilities are often consulted, when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations occur at both the national, regional and local level. The government gives financial support to existing or new organizations of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities participate to some extent in government, political parties and NGOs. The role of organisations of persons with disabilities is to advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures concerning the lives of persons with disabilities, contribute to public awareness, provide services and promote/organize income generating activities.
Co-ordination of work
There is no national co-ordinating committee or any similar body.
The Standard rules have been helpful when organizing new services and are taken into account when preparing new legislation. The Rules have certainly strengthened demands of the organizations concerned.
Contents of the RI Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Greek Government, DPI, WFD