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Common voice network Final Conference Policy paper




THE COMMON VOICE NETWORK PROJECT
Rationale and background of the project


The main objective of the project is to build an international network for national lobby networks of social service providers for persons with intellectual, multiple disabilities and autism in the Central and Eastern European region. In the frameworks of the project we are going to examine the anti­discrimination laws of the countries that are represented in the project. One of the examination’s focuses will be what sectorial questions the anti­discrimination laws regulate and what sanctioning they have. Each partner is going to present a typical case from each sectorial area. After the identification of the most frequent and typical problems the roots of these problems will also be recognised which can originate from:

  1. legal background,
  2. institutional characteristics,
  3. inappropriate legal processes,

• weak lobby­ability of the stakeholders. After this we are going to set against the national and those anomalies identified as common with the national and EU­level regulations and with the requirements set up by them. We are going to carry out a holistic approach of examining and developing regulations with the continuous monitoring of national and EU­regulations. As a result of the network’s work we are going to identify those problems that are most common for all national networks, then we will examine whether they are contradictory with EU­level regulations or not. In case there is no appropriate regulation concerning the certain area of discrimination, the focus of the network’s lobby will be to achieve that decision makers would make the necessary changes on the EU­level and create the necessary laws and regulations. In case the identified problem contradicts with an existing and operative EU­regulation, the network of networks will be working on the validation of the specific rights with reference to the certain regulation. The dimensions of the network of networks operation are:
1. Legal level
As described above.
2. Self­advocacy of the stakeholders
We will identify the methods used in each country to increase the self­advocacy abilities of the stakeholders. In this sense it is important to examine the system of supported decision­making in each country.
3. Increasing the legal awareness of social professionals
It is necessary to raise the awareness of social professionals concerning the possible ways, areas and forms of discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. If they are more aware of the possible discriminations and how to solve them, they can provide support to the clients in a much more effective way.
4. Examination of support networks in each country
The aim is to examine what kind of institutional system is valid in the network’s countries in order to protect the interests of persons with intellectual disabilities.
5. Examination of methods to raise legal awareness of the target group
E.g.:
• laws and regulations in an easy­to­read format,
• programs to raise legal awareness,

Planned activities
The network of networks is going to carry out the following activities in order to reach the above mentioned goals:

  1. creation of the informal structure of the network,
  2. continuous communication by net­meetings and e­mail communication,
  3. organising two international fora to exchange knowledge and experience and to get to know good practices,
  4. to formulate at least 1 lobby­aim per country and achieve it by the means of different lobby­methods on a national and international level,
  5. formulation of ‘policy papers’ containing suggestions in order to improve the situation of anti­discrimination laws and practice in the network countries and on an international level as well,
  6. to plan the sustainability of the network after the project period,
  7. dissemination of project results in an international conference.

Duration of the project: 12 months
Start of the project: 1st October 2008.

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