Ukrainian CSOs for Change: Promoting Human Rights, Deinstitutionalization and Social Inclusion of People, who have Intellectual and/or Psychosocial Disabilities

Project duration

February 2018 – January 2022


European Union

Project goal

About 57,000 persons, who have intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities (PIPD), are confined in 145 social care institutions in Ukraine, which is the main form of support services for persons, who have mental health problems, in the country. Civil society organizations (CSOs) and human rights activists tend to challenge the existing inhumane form of institutional care and promote community-based services. Nevertheless, Ukrainian CSOs, especially those based in the provinces, lack coordination, specific human rights knowledge, resources, advocacy and other skills. On the other hand, the best global practices suggest that active CSOs are the driving force to promote deinstitutionalization and human rights of vulnerable people, and to subsequently watch-dog the quality of newly established community-based services. The proposed action is a result of continuous efforts of project’s co-applicants, international experts and key stakeholders, to respond to the needs of PIPD, and seek to reform the out-dated health and social care systems inherited from the former Soviet Union. This is especially intended through empowerment of local CSOs and unveiling of the marginalised subject of the human rights of PIPD.

This will be addressed through such activities, as mapping Ukrainian CSOs networks and capacity building of Ukrainian civil society organisations and activists on human rights, managing of deinstitutionalization, advocacy, community-based services and UN Convention on the Rigths of Persons with Disabilities; financial support to local CSOs for actions in two provinces of Donetskaya and Lvivskaya; awareness raising campaign; inter-stakeholder meetings and conferences; piloting of the Personal Ombudsman System; various publications and site visits to such countries as Bulgaria and the Netherlands for exchange of best practice examples, etc.

Expected results

1. Professionalism, technical and practical skills of Ukrainian CSOs are enhanced nationwide in the fields of human rights, managing of deinstitutionalization, advocacy, community-based services and UN Convention on the Rigths of Persons with Disabilities.

2. The Ukrainian CSOs networks in the Donetskaya and Lvivskaya provinces are strengthened and have the tools to promote and later monitor the process of deinstitutionalization and development of community-based services.

3. Key stakeholders and society in general are more aware of PIPD rights, supportive towards their social inclusion, community-based services, and ready to implement the recommendations of the UN Convention.

Project partners

International Charitable Foundation Research Center for Social Policy (Міжнародний благодійний фонд “Дослідницький центр соціальної політики”)

Ukrainian Psychiatric Association (Асоціація психіатрів України)

Human Rights in Mental Health – FGIP

Project budget: 298 946 EUR

Reference number: EIDHR/2018/395-005

Funded by the European Union