On the 18th of November, EUD participated in the webinar: ‘A Social Europe for all with all. Developing an Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights’. This webinar was organised by Social Platform together with MEP Katrin Langensiepen, with the keynote speech of Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights.
Deaf persons and other persons with disabilities in the EU are already suffering the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Union is seeking solutions to bring about solutions to these negative impacts, however, the EU needs to base this solutions on human rights, including those enshrined under the UN CRPD. In this regard, the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) plays a key role, as it calls in its 17th principle for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
At the start of the webinar, MEP Katrin Langensiepen expressed the uncertainty about the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, however she emphasised that the pandemic has already revealed existing inequalities, as persons who belong to groups at risk of discrimination, including persons with disabilities, have been hit the hardest. She underlined that the principles of the EPSR must be put at the heart of the political action of the EU.
In his keynote speech, the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit explained that the Action Plan for the EPSR must guarantee a fair and inclusive COVID-19 recovery in the long term. He explained that concreted proposals have already been delivered, such as on skills, minimum wages and youth employment support. He welcome Social Platform’s recommendations for the EPSR Action Plan (access them here).
The COVID19 outbreak and its containment measures have undermined the wellbeing and human rights of all persons in Europe. Deaf persons have been impacted disproportionally, as in many cases they have struggled to access their right to communication in healthcare facilities or have encountered numerous barriers to access essential information on latest measures taken at the national and EU levels. In this regard, EUD has published a position paper on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rights of deaf persons in Europe, with important policy recommendations to include deaf persons in responses to the current crisis, but also future crisis. You can access the position paper here.
EUD has also created a new section in its website with information about accessibility of information in national sign languages about the COVID-19 containment measures in all EU Member States. Also, EUD published a COVID-19 report with information on the main challenges and human rights violations that affected deaf persons across Europe (access it here).
EUD will continue to monitor the effects of the COVID19 pandemic and containment measures on deaf persons across the EU.
EUD would like to thank Social Platform for organising this webinar.
Access the webpage of the event here.
Access Social Platform’s video on the European Pillar of Social Rights here.
Access Social Platform’s recommendations to achieve an ambitious European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan here.