ENIL Newsletter, November 2016

Editorial Update

Dear reader,
We are deeply saddened to start this newsletter with an obituary for our late Board member Debbie Jolly. Debbie passed away earlier this month after a short illness, less than two months after we had last met at the Board meeting in Sofia. Many tributes have been paid to Debbie by fellow independent living activists, MPs, friends, and a protest was held in her memory by the organisation she co-founded - Disabled People against the Cuts (DPAC). 

Debbie held different roles at ENIL over time. She was a member of staff, then a Board member for a number of years, and was more recently a part of our Alliance against Disability Cuts and the project in Turkey. Throughout this time, she was a strong supporter of grassroots user-led groups, direct action and using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a tool to bring governments to account. Just before Debbie passed away, the CRPD Committee found the UK to be in violation of the CRPD. This special inquiry was initiated by her and colleagues at DPAC under the Optional Protocol. We are glad that before Debbie left us, the UN confirmed what she had been saying all along - that the cuts imposed against disabled people amount to serious human rights violations and must be stopped.

We leave you with the words of Debbie's fellow activists - Zara Todd, another Board member, and Eleanor Lisney, the co-founder of Sisters of Frida, a disabled women's cooperative in the UK.

"Debbie was a remarkable person. Her drive, determination and commitment to her principles were (even though I know she would hate this description) inspirational. I find it difficult to imagine the independent living movement without Debbie. Debbie was one of the first people I met when I started doing things with ENIL and I will always remember the efforts that she went to to listen to people." Zara Tood

“Debbie believed deeply in solidarity with disabled people in Europe and working together for independent living, for getting disabled people out of institutions. I have many memories of us in Freedom Drive marches in Strasbourg, sitting together waiting, having a picnic lunch at the tramway outside the Human Rights building, discussing with cross party UK MEPs about disabled people's issues back in the UK. She was not at Brussels Freedom Drive last year because she had hip problems but I never imagined that she wouldn't be going again. She is a trememdous loss to our fight for disability rights and disabled people all over Europe has lost a valiant campaigner.” Eleanor Lisney

RIP Debbie


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Debbie Jolly: A 'Force for Good' and a Passionate Social Model Advocate

Obituary for our late Board member, Debbie Jolly, reprinted from the Disability News Service. It includes tributes by activists from the UK and wider, including our Director Jamie Bolling.

Short Guide through Actions to Implement CRPD at EU Level

Last year, EU’s initial report on the implementation of the CRPD was reviewed by the CRPD Committee. This article looks at what happened since, and sets out some of the actions taken by different actors to implement the Committee’s recommendations.

Role mode: Marina Voudouri

Meet Marina Voudouri, ENIL's Board member from Italy. Marina is originally from Greece, but has been living in Rome for many years, where she is sitting on one of the district’s governing bodies and is on the forefront of advocacy for independent living.

ENIL's Nadia Hadad Joins EDF Board

Report from the Board meeting of the European Disability Forum (EDF) in Bratislava, Slovakia as told by Nadia Hadad, our new representative. Nadia was co-opted to the Board in the place of Peter Lambreghts, who sadly passed away in August.

Local Culture and Independent Living

Insights from ENIL's event during the 2016 Social Forum, looking at how local culture affects the realisation of the right to independent living. The event showed that, despite the cultural differences, disabled people across the world face similar problems. 

9 Months to ENIL 2017 Freedom Drive

ENIL 2017 Freedom Drive is 9 months away. We can now confirm the venues for different events - there is lots to look forward to, so do join us in Brussels in September 2017.

ENIL's Monthly Website Update

A monthly roundup of all the articles published by ENIL in November.
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