Article 19 as a Tool and the Law as a Tool - the projects and organization

Artikel 19 och lagen som verktyg logotyp“Article 19 as a Tool” is a three year project started in 2019. The project has common elements with the preceding project "The Law as a Tool" and shares the same website.

 “Article 19” refers to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Article 19 – Living independently and being included in the community.

The background to the project is that many people with disabilities are still in situations lacking self-determination in their daily lives and being excluded from participation in society. Although Sweden has formally phased out institutions, there are now fears that they are on the rise again due to cutbacks in personal assistance.

The concept of institution is not about a certain type of building, but of being deprived of freedom and control. Even small group homes and people living in their own accommodation can being deprived of freedom and control if, for example, they share staff or have little influence over their daily lives.

Sweden has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and is obliged to implement the rights under the convention. The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities continue to develop the understanding of the rights under the CRPD. The Committee’s General Comment no 5 on Article 19 (GC 5) makes clear that segregated dwellings where disproportionately many people with disabilities must share the same environment should not be allowed. The notion that people with intellectual disabilities would not be able to live outside a group home or similar is also contrary to Article 19, according to GC 5. The General comment is clear on your right to decide what services you need and what daily activities you will participate in.

So how well does Sweden live up to the clarifications expressed in GC 5? Does life in group housing or service housing, for example, meet the requirements of Article 19? And how is it with Conservatorship or Guardianship and influence on daily activities? These are just some of several interesting issues where a clearer instrument is needed to be able to make an objective assessment. The issues are highly relevant because Sweden this year will submit its report to the UN on how the country complies with the convention.

Read more (in Swedish) on the Law as a Tool's website.


 

The Law as a Tool (In Swedish: Med lagen som verktyg) is a both the name of an ILI project (2016 - 2019) and a Swedish organization spreading awareness and legal expertise on discrimination due to disability and defending the rights of people with disabilities.

Background

 Too little attention has been paid to implementation of the disability discrimination law, in particular the need to involve the disability community in enforcement of the law. Civil society can and should help to ensure that the law is implemented so that case law can develop.

Case law is needed for both fulfilling the law´s reparative function in individual cases and the prevention of future discrimitation. Role models like DREDF (USA) and Bizchut (Israel) have demonstrated that civil society can play a role in both developing legislation and enforcing the law.

The organisation

The Law as a Tool (In Swedish: Med lagen som verktyg) is a Swedish  civil society organization aiming to defend and advance human rights for people with disabilities and counter the discrimination of the same group in Sweden.

The organization contributes to case law by taking on cases where members have been discriminated against due to disability. The Law as a Tool pays all costs related to the litigation with money from membership fees and donations.

You find more information at the website of the organisation. We do not have the resources to translate our webpage to English, but we strongly encourage non-Swedish speaking citizens of or visitors to Sweden to contact us if you are discriminated against in Sweden.

Chairman Susanne Berg

The project

The project The Law as a Tool for Social Change is owned by Independent Living Institute and runs March 2016-February 2019 with support from the Swedish Inheritage Fund. It aims to raise awareness of discrimination due to disability and the possibilities and pitfalls concerning cases. It provides general assistance to attorneys taking on disability discrimination cases and offer education and support.

Project leader Emil Erdtman emil@independentliving.org and Lawyer Ola Linder ola@lagensomverktyg.se

Nytt Projekt: "Artikel 19 som verktyg" med projektstart 1 april 2019

Arvsfonden har beviljat knappt 6,8 miljoner kr till stiftelsen Independent Living Institute för att i samarbete med Raoul Wallenberginstitutet genomföra det treåriga projektet Artikel 19 som verktyg.

New Project: "Article 19 as a tool" starting April 1, 2019

The Swedish Inheritance Fund has granted just under SEK 6.8 million to the Independent Living Institute in collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute to implement the three-year project “Article 19 as a Tool”. “Article 19” refers to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Article 19 – Living independently and being included in the community.

Communication to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Swedish Association of the Deaf, Swedish Youth Association of the Deaf and the non-profit association The law as a tool has submitted a communication to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, requesting the Committee to recognise that Sweden has violated the rights of Richa

Comments on Draft to General Comment nr 6

Comments from Independent Living Institute (and The Swedish Disability Rights Federation) on the Draft General Comment nr 6 on article 5 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Equality and non-discrimination.

CASE LAW: Swedish municipality liable for disability discrimination through deficient accessibility in elementary school

Linder, Ola.  2017.  CASE LAW: Swedish municipality liable for disability discrimination through deficient accessibility in elementary school.
English

 

Sebastian Häregård, 14, was illegally discriminated against in his school Nästegårdsskolan in Vara municipality, Sweden. The municipality had failed to take measures for accessibility that are required. Deficient ramps and heavy doors which had not been rectified was sufficient to conclude that Sebastian had not been put in a comparable situation to pupils without his impairment.

The Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) sued the municipality for illegal discrimination in the form of deficient accessibility (Discrimination act 2008:567, 1:4 3p.). The Skaraborg District Court judgment was delivered on May 24 2017 (case no T-2447-16), establishing that the municipality is obliged to pay 30 000 SEK to Sebastian as compensation for discrimination. 

CONFERENCE VIDEOS 24-25 NOV 2016: Strategic litigation and human rights enforcement

Paul Lappalainen, Erdtman, Emil.  2017.  CONFERENCE VIDEOS 24-25 NOV 2016: Strategic litigation and human rights enforcement.
English

On 24 and 25 November 2016, the Law as a Tool for Social Change project arranged a conference and two seminars on how civil society, through strategic litigation, can counteract discrimination against people with disabilities and contribute to case law and the changing of legal norms.

Project funding granted "Using the law" (Med lagen som verktyg)

The Swedish Inheritance Fund approved funding for the three year project  "Using the law"  (Med lagen som verktyg) at it's October 2015 board meeting. Co-applicants are Handikappförbunden HSOApply Human RightsDHRSTIL, och Personskadeförbundet RTP.

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