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The role of NGOs in the process of deinstitutionalization

Published: Fri, 02.04.2021 - 19:12

We have organised an expert forum on the role of NGOs in the implementation of deinstitutionalisation and the realisation of human rights.

At the Museum of Madness in Trate, we raise awareness among the local and international public that Slovenia is one of the most institutionalised countries in the world and that people living in institutions have their human rights violated. The experience of the Museum of Madness with the general public so far shows that people have very little knowledge of this topic, but after visiting the museum they are much more open to talking about the need for deinstitutionalisation and the development of community-based services than they were before. As an NGO that has been working in the local area and more broadly across Slovenia since 2013, we want to connect as much as possible in the future with other NGOs that are active in the field of mental health. To this end, we are organising the first NGO Expert Consultation, which aims to put the issue of developing community-based services that support the realisation of the right of people with disabilities to live independently and to be included in the community at the centre of the debate. This is a necessary part of the process of implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As an organisation that preserves the memory of people with experience of institutionalisation and at the same time preserves the memory of people who once lived an invisible life behind castle walls, we want to contribute, together with other NGOs, to strengthening collective advocacy, local processes of deinstitutionalisation and to raising awareness to reduce human rights violations in Slovenia.


  • From Institutions to People in the Museum of Madness (Dr. Sonja Bezjak, Museum of Madness)
  • People with disabilities and the realisation of human rights (Prof. Dr. Darja Zaviršek, Faculty of Social Work)
  • NGOs' contributions (community-based services
  • good and bad practices in the implementation of the CRP) and discussion (*see below)
  • Agreement on the Sustainable NGOs' Cooperation and Capacity Building of the Sector in the Implementation of Human Rights
  • Closing and tour of the Museum of Madness

The consultation is organised in the framework of the project "From Institutions to People", funded by the Active Citizens Fund, in cooperation with the Franko Maribor Institute. The project aims to raise awareness about human rights violations in institutions for people with disabilities in Slovenia and advocates for structural changes in this area.

We invite you to contribute to the project. *Some starting questions for NGOs: In what ways does your NGO work for the realisation of human rights of people with disabilities? How is your NGO developing towards greater user empowerment? Who are your NGO's greatest allies in the field of mental health and disability, where else can we look for sources of strength? How can we come together to accelerate the development of community-based services and the process of deinstitutionalisation? What are the biggest barriers to deinstitutionalisation today? What would you like to communicate to the public, to museum visitors, through the Museum of Madness?

Date of the consultation: Wednesday, 26 May 2021, at 10:00

Location: Cmurek na Trate Castle, Trate 7, 2213 Zgornja Velka

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