Opening the Courtroom Doors for People with Disabilities

Across Europe, thousands of people with intellectual disabilities are placed in institutions, where they are mistreated without repercussions.  N-Map produced this video to support the case of Valentin Cåmpeanu, a young man who died in such a facility in Romania.  Mr. Cåmpeanu was a Roma man with HIV and a severe intellectual disability.  He was also an orphan.  When he turned 18 he was transferred from a youth facility to an adult facility.  The new facility was not informed of his HIV, so he never received his medication.  He died alone in a cold room. Because Cåmpeanu has no next of kin, there is no one to sue on is behalf. 

Several European human rights NGOs, including INTERIGHTS, Center for Legal Resources and Bulgarian Helsinki Committee are arguing before the European Court of Human Rights that they should have the right to sue on Mr. Cåmpeanu – or there will be no one to hold the Romanian government accountable for his death.  N-Map produced this video to support the case, and to humanize what is essentially a technical procedural issue. 

The ruling of the Grand Chamber on Campeanu vs. Romania, especially on the issue of admissibility, ie the right of human rights NGOs such as the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee to file applications with the ECHR in similar cases will set an extremely important precedent for European law. If Campeanu were to succeed, so would three Bulgarian cases of inhuman treatment and deprivation of life of defenseless institutionalised children – cases to which society turns a blind eye. The court will open the doors of the Convention rights for those crushed by society – for those insulated from everyone and everything , so that no one can protect them. The dead Kampeanu can change that.

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