On September 23, 2013, for the second time, the Center for Independent Animals organizes a protest drive of disabled people which is against the corruption and non-working policies in the field of disabilities in Bulgaria, which for the past twenty or more years have lead the Bulgarians with disabilities to the first place in poverty in Europe. We will insist on a quality new government, fully in line with the UN Convention on Human Rights of Disabled People. You will have more than one hundred disabled people and their friends from all over the country.
The INDEPENDENCE DRIVE, how we named it, will start on the Sveta Nedelya Square at about 12 o’clock and will follow the following route – Sveta Nedelya Square (starting point – 11 o’clock), Saborna Street, Lege Street, Atanas Burov Square , Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., Independence Square (end point – 13-14 hours), where we expect to meet the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria – Mr. Plamen Oresharski and the Minister of Labor and Social Policy – Mr. Hasan Ademov .
Everyone, whether or not disabled, is welcome to support us. We thank you in advance.
The Center for Independent Living invited all major political forces to a meeting to present the expectations of disabled citizens from the participants in the 2013 parliamentary elections.
The leaders of the BULGARIA OF THE CITIZENS movement responded first to our invitation. Mrs. Meglena Kuneva came to the CIL office at the meeting on April 10, Ludmila Elkova – Deputy chairperson of the party and Mr. Georgi Kiryakov, who is responsible for BC’s social policy.
At the beginning of the meeting, Kapa Panayotova emphasized the need for new disability policies, given the alarming situation in our country, where, against the background of general impoverishment, the problems of people with disabilities appear to be not important enough for the political class. Eurostat’s worrying statistics make it clear that people with disabilities in Bulgaria are at the forefront of EU unemployment, lack of education and segregation. Kapa Panayotova stressed that the mechanisms by which money is given in Bulgaria for the disabled people not only do not help their social inclusion, but even deepen their isolation.
Meglena Kuneva and the Movement team emphasized that they came to hear the views of people with disabilities about social policies in Bulgaria and their ideas for change.
A common understanding emerged on the following several key issues:
The need for a completely new disability law, which guarantees a transition from the medical to the social model of disability, as well as the transition from social benefits to a deficit compensation policy;
To open broadly the dialogue in society about the people with disabilities and to move out of the narrow and vicious circle of coordination only with nationally represented NGOs, which through the state subsidy for their activity are really connected with the government and do not consult, but agree with it;
Change the model of the non-governmental sector involvement in the social policies. Instead of quantifying the principle of national representation / with the whole devaluation of this concept / – to rely on the qualitative one. To provide social services on a project basis, guaranteeing transparency in accountability and the competitiveness and effectiveness of ideas.
Accessibility is a huge problem in the overall environment and this understanding has been underlined by both parties.
Work on controlling the construction and infrastructure and achieving full rather than “partial” accessibility. The team of Bulgaria of the citizens received written proposals from CIL which they promised to read carefully and consider as an expression of quality expertise from proven specialists in the field of disability, such as the people at the Center for Independent Living.
CIVIL COALITION TO OBSERVE ELECTION PROCESS LAUNCHES OBSERVATION OF UPCOMING ELECTIONS ON 4th OF APRIL, 2013
INITIATORS OF THE CIVIL COALITION FOR ELECTION PROCESS OBSERVATION: Transparency International, Bulgarian Dimitar Panitza School of Politics, European Institute, European Information Center, Institute for Social Integration, Center for Liberal Strategies for independent living, offer to the political parties registered for participation in the parliamentary elections a PUBLIC CONTRACT for FREE, FAIR AND DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS IN BULGARIA. On April 4, 2013, at 11.00 at the Sheraton Hotel, a Public Contract will be concluded for holding free, fair and democratic elections in Bulgaria. The document was developed by 8 non-governmental organizations that will conduct independent civic monitoring of the upcoming elections.
The purpose of the treaty is to engage the political parties in conducting a transparent election campaign in accordance with the publicity and accountability standards. The aim is to prevent the abuse of citizens’ suffrage and to optimize the organization of the election process.
The document also provides for a commitment for non-governmental organizations to conduct civic surveillance based on the principles of independence, political impartiality and constructive dialogue with all participants in the election process, as well as to provide information to the public on the results of the monitoring.
The Center for Independent Living fully supports this initiative and will support the signing of the Public Contract on 04.04.2013.
An open letter sent to the President – Mr. Rosen Plevneliev – by people with disabilities was brought to the Presidency today. It is related to possible appointments to the office of people associated with the previous status quo who could not make the change sought today. We support Mr Plevneliev in his struggle and the daunting task now to master the changes in the country and to give them a unified direction – a new social contract and mutual trust between citizens and the governing. That is why members of the new, albeit temporary, government and advisory body should not be allowed to come from governmental national representative organizations which are directly linked to the government in the last few years and have led to the extremely difficult situation of social exclusion for people with disabilities .
The full text of the letter can be read here.
Annual Meeting of the Center for Independent Living and friends including an analysis of the passing 2011 and a brain storm for more human and independent 2012
“We are playing a very complicated chess game with some very ordinary people” – Peter Kichashki
Hardly, someone has ever gathered so many disabled people in one place in Bulgaria. On December 16, many people with special needs gathered in Shipka Hotel to analyze what has done during the current year and to collect fresh ideas and power for changing the status quo in 2012. Mitko Nikolov and Kapka Panayotova of the CIL recalled, along with the main activists in the association, the highlights of the activity over the last 12 months:Read More