8A08ECDB 8152 4BD0 B425 BDB6B9498DF228 September 2017 // Yesterday, September 27, IF joined the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) Freedom Drive 2017 March with the theme “Independent Living Heroes: Past, Present and Future”, to raise awareness about independent living. The March was part of the campaign organised by ENIL every other year, with events that have taken place from the 24th to the 28th of September.

The right to independent living is a key requirement for an accessible and inclusive society. To be able to live independently allows people with disabilities to have control over their own body and flexibility in their daily life. They have the right to have access to services that can make this come true.

The campaign had specific goals that participants wish to achieve and spread awareness about:

  • Implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities (CRPD)
  • No more cuts to independent living
  • A strong European Accessibility Act
  • An enforceable pillar of social rights
  • Freedom of movement
  • Protection of disability rights during brexit
  • Safeguard rights of asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities

Besides these goals, the campaign was aimed at the European Commission and ENIL had also developed specific recommendations for MEP’s to help them formulate their own demands in terms of country delegations.

The Freedom Drive conference after the March brought together people with different disabilities, experts, representatives from the European Commission and Members of the Parliament. Marianne Thyssen, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Labour Mobility, had a very clear message: “We want a fairer, more inclusive and accessible society by empowering community based care!”

It was a relief to experience so many people from all over Europe gathered for this important cause and it was an honor to follow ENIL’s lead. Thank you!


You can have a look at the ENIL Freedom Drive 2017 photos here. Feel free to share them!

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