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European Charter for Persons with Autism

People with autism should share the same rights and privileges enjoyed by all of the European population where such are appropriate and in the best interests of the person with autism.

These rights should be enhanced, protected and enforced by appropriate legislation in each state.

The United Nations declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons (1971) and the Rights of Handicapped Persons (1975) and other relevant declarations on human rights should be considered and in particular, for people with autism the following should be included:

  1. The right of people with autism to live independent and full lives to the limit of their potential
  2. The right of people with autism to an accessible, unbiased and accurate clinical diagnosis and assessment
  3. The right of people with autism to accessible and appropriate education
  4. The right of people with autism (and their representatives) to be involved in all decisions affecting their future; the wishes of the individual must be, as far as possible, ascertained and respected
  5. The right of people with autism to accessible and suitable housing
  6. The right of people with autism to the equipment, assistance and support services necessary to live a fully productive life with dignity and independence
  7. The right of people with autism to an income or wage sufficient to provide adequate food, clothing, accommodation and the other necessities of life
  8. The right of people with autism to participate, as far as possible, in the development and management of services provided for their wellbeing
  9. The right of people with autism to appropriate counselling and care for their physical, mental and spiritual health; this includes the provision of appropriate treatment and medication administered in the best interest of the individual with all protective measures taken
  10. The right of people with autism to meaningful employment and vocational training without discrimination or stereotype; training and employment should have regard to the ability and choice of the individual
  11. The right of people with autism to accessible transport and freedom of movement
  12. The right of people with autism to participate in and benefit from culture, entertainment, recreation and sport
  13. The right of people with autism of equal access to and use of all facilities, services and activities in the community
  14. The right of people with autism to sexual and other relationships, including marriage, without exploitation or coercion
  15. The right of people with autism (and their representatives) to legal representation and assistance and to the full protection of all legal rights
  16. The right of people with autism to freedom from fear or threat of unwarranted incarceration in psychiatric hospitals or any other restrictive institution
  17. The right of people with autism to freedom from abusive physical treatment or neglect
  18. The right of people with autism to freedom from pharmacological abuse or misuse
  19. The right of access of people with autism (and their representatives) to all information contained in their personal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and educational records

Presented at the 4th Autism-Europe Congress, Den Haag, 10 May 1992.

Adopted as a Written Declaration by the European Parliament on May 9th, 1996.

Autism-Europe, Avenue Van Becelaere 26B, bte 21, B - 1170 Bruxelles, Belgium

Phone: +32 2 675 75 05
Fax: +32 2 675 72 70
E-mail: autisme.europe@arcadis.be
Website: www.autismeurope.arc.be

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