European Union,General,International

Academic article about persons with disabilities’ rights in European elections published

14 Nov , 2023  

Johannesburg, Brussels, Vienna, 14 November 2023:  The South African Journal of International Affairs (SAJIA) published the academic article on enhancing inclusion and accessibility of persons with disabilities in European Parliament elections, co-authored by Alejandro Moledo del Río from European Disability Forum, Michael Lidauer and Amin Rabitsch from Election-Watch.EU.

Toby James from the Electoral Integrity Project encouraged Election-Watch.EU to submit the publication and reviewed it.  Victor Shale from The South African Electoral Commission oversaw the special SAJIA edition on Inclusive Elections and Martha Bridgman from SAJIA provided editorial support. , and all the members of the European Disability Forum and the @Election-Watch.EU network for contributing to the research.

The article covers the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which clarifies that persons with disabilities have the right to participate in political life and enshrines their right to vote and stand as candidates in elections. This article evaluates compliance and current practices in the European Union, finding a great variety of implementation to facilitate the electoral participation of persons with disabilities. Despite CRPD ratification by all EU member states, inaccessibility of elections, lack of suitable information, removal of legal capacity, and other disability-based discrimination remain barriers to political participation. Nevertheless, there are increasingly good practices of inclusion by which legislators and election administrators can learn from each other. Based on the example of the EU, the judicial activism of disabled persons organisations in particular highlights the key role of civil society organisations and their cooperation with public authorities to make electoral processes more inclusive, alleviating political inequality overall.

The authors thank EDF member organisations for reviewing the initial findings and the EDF for granting the permission to use the research and findings for this article. We also thank the members of the Election-Watch.EU network for participating in the research.

We have 50 free online copies to share with friends and colleagues. You find the eprint link here

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