Resisting Calls to Invest in Institutions – a Discussion With Funders, Policymakers and DPOs

European Network on Independent Living - ENIL

According to the information available to European Network on Independent Living - ENIL, refugees from Ukraine are being placed in institutions across Europe, due to the lack of accessible housing. Disability Rights International has recently exposed the practice of children being dumped and abandoned in Ukraine's institutions. With Ukraine and European Union countries calling for more investment in institutions, the question arises - how can we prevent this?

This COSP 15 side event was organised by ENIL, in cooperation with Disability Rights Defenders. It addressed the issue of increasing segregation of persons with disabilities in institutions as a result of the war in Ukraine, despite lessons learned during COVID. It focused on the role of the funders in the humanitarian response and the post-war recovery, urging for full compliance with the UN CRPD and ensuring that no funding goes towards institutionalisation of persons with disabilities.


  • Dragana Ciric Milovanovic, Director for Europe, Disability Rights International - “Children from Ukraine’s institutions – are bilateral agreements between governments a threat to DI process in Europe? ”
  • Lukasz Orylski, disability rights campaigner, Poland – “How the arrival of disabled refugees in Poland has led to calls for further investment in institutions ”
  • Jamie Bolling, Disability Rights Defenders – “Lessons learned from Sweden’s deinstitutionalization process”
  • Adrian Goretzki, Healthcare Education Institute - “The experience of supporting refugees with rare diseases & lessons learned ”
  • Katrin Langensiepen, MEP – “The role of the European Parliament in promoting CRPD compliance, including in times of war and other emergencies”
  • Amalia Gamio, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and member of the Working Group on Deinstitutionalisation: “Draft Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization, including in Emergencies and their role in preventing investments in institutions”