The CoR's NAT commission today adopted by majority the draft opinion on "Deinstitutionalization of the care system at local and regional level", by PES rapporteur Xamuel Gonzalez Westling, Member of Hofors Municipal Council (Sweden).
Acknowledging the human rights of every living person in our society is crucial in the battle against the ill-treatment of those who have been considered unable to care for themselves. The opinion calls for a paradigm shift towards a more individualised kind of care. In that respect, Mr. Gonzalez Westling underlines that deinstitutionalisation takes one step forward on the path of considering everyone as equal. Institutionalization was considered necessary in the past due to our lack of knowledge regarding mental disabilities but, with what we know today, we should now minimize the use of these institutions.
"I believe diversity is something that enriches our culture and makes us better at understanding the important things in life. Everyone in our society is contributing to its progress in one way or the other. It is our differences that make us stronger as a whole. When we embrace those differences and try to learn from them, we make better choices and decisions, but we also learn to know ourselves better. Deinstitutionalisation is a means to an end instead of just a goal in itself", Mr. Gonzalez Westling explained during his speech in the NAT commission.
Moreover, his opinion tries to analyse comparatively the deinstitutionalization of care in different EU Member States and to show how strong the consensus on the negative effects of long-term institutional care can be.
Finally, members of the NAT commission also placed a special emphasis on promoting and protecting children's rights.