On behalf of the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and Disability Rights International (DRI), we are writing to let you know about a regional “consultation” being organized by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) to solicit input from people with disabilities and their allies on experiences and concerns related to the issue of deinstitutionalization. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought international attention to the urgency of efforts to integrate all children and adults with disabilities in to the community. We encourage you to share your views to the UN by submitting a 520-word statement.

It is our hope that this consultation will lead to new international guidelines on deinstitutionalization. To ensure the success of this effort, it would be helpful to know:

  • What are the most important human rights issues facing people in US institutions?
  • What are the main obstacles to full community inclusion?
  • What can be done to create increased urgency and immediate action to enforce rights and promote full community integration?
  • Are you aware of good models of COVID-19 response that can and should be replicated to protect people in institutions in the US or around the world, especially through community inclusion?

We have a special interest in challenging the worldwide practice of placing children in institutions – including residential care and group homes. We would be particularly interested in helping to document this problem and identify successful alternatives.

Statements are due by May 24, 2021 and must be submitted to: [email protected]. Please be sure to write Regional consultation Caribbean and North America in the subject of the email. 

If possible, please send advance copies of your statement or draft to Eric Rosenthal [email protected] and Isabel Hodge at [email protected] as we will be preparing a compilation of comments and hope to orally present findings from the United States at the consultation.