The aim of this study was the assessment of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) in Croatian laws and practice by people with intellectual disability.
The inclusive research with members of the Croatian Association for the Self-Advocacy has been conducted. Self-advocates participated in all stages of research as equal partners. They were particularly interested in analysing the realization of the rights of people with intellectual disability in Croatia guaranteed with articles 9, 12, 18, 19, 21, 23 and 27 of the Convention. For that purpose a semi-structured interview was created and applied with 12 research participants. Data were obtained and analyzed through qualitative method.
Although Croatia has in 2007 ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, its implementation in reality, as estimated by self-advocates, is not satisfactory. According to their views and opinions, actual Croatian laws still have not been adequately aligned with proposed principles in several analyzed articles of the Convention. Therefore people with ID are still facing barriers, difficulties, and limited access to employment, legal capacity, independent living, community support, right to marriage and access to information.
This study demonstrated potentials, needs and desires of self-advocates to actively participate and influence social development and improvement of implementation the UN Convention in legal framework and practice, which significantly marked their quality of life. The sense of their identity and belonging to the community, they connect tightly with the level of realisation of equal rights and possibilities.