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The Belgian Disability Forum (BDF) aims at promoting, within the European institutions, the following rights of persons with disabilities:

  • human rights
  • civil rights
  • social rights
  • economic rights
  • cultural rights
  • equal opportunities

A European necessity

BDF was created on October 18 2001, to meet the wishes of the European Union to dispose:

  • in all EU Member States
  • of a single national representative body in the field of disabilities
  • functioning independently
  • able to relay the expectations of disabled persons
  • able to disseminate nationally all EU assets and projects

5 principles

The philosophy of action of the BDF is based on 6 main principles:

  • disabled people are persons : as such, they have the right to be respected and given equal opportunities
  • disabled people are persons : as such, they must be respected and given the means to be involved into social life. Society must provide them with a life of their choosing in the most autonomous way possible
  • disability mainstreaming : specific needs related to the handicap must be taken into account within each stage of political reflection and decision processes
  • disabled persons participation in reflection and decision processes : from beginning to end, a real and constructive dialogue must be achieved with all structures representing persons with disabilities
  • empowerment of disabled persons : they must be given the opportunity and means to participate in decision-making processes
  • impaired persons are entitled to human rights : they have rights, as well as obligations

4 areas of action

BDF main areas of action:

  • to represent Belgian disabled persons within the European Disability Forum (EDF)
  • to provide information to Belgian disabled persons on the great European and international stakes
  • to lobby for the improvement of disabled persons rights
  • to participate in the European decision-making process in all fields having an impact on the disabled persons situation