About the project


Hear our voices! Promoting and encouraging the participation of children with intellectual disabilities

The European project ‘Hear our Voices!’ addressed the priority of promoting children’s rights and in particular the rights of children with intellectual disabilities. It has been designed based on the results of the EU-financed project “Children’s right for all!” which analysed the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter CRC) from the perspective of children with intellectual disabilities. Based on comparative qualitative and quantitative research undertaken by 22 National Experts it found out that provisions on the right to participate for children are rather poor and do not provide the necessary support and adaptations to vulnerable children, like children with intellectual disabilities.

In addition, the new CRC Optional Protocol on Communication has been signed by a number of EU Member States and will now enter ratification. It provides inter alia for a direct complaints mechanism for children, in which also those with intellectual disabilities should be supported to fully participate.

In light of this, Inclusion Europe, the European association of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families and Eurochild, the European network protecting the rights of children across Europe, embarked upon the project ‘Hear our voices’ together with national partner organisations in Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Spain.

The main objectives of the project ‘Hear our voices’ were:

  • to strengthen and increase the participation of children with intellectual disabilities in all areas of life in the sense of Article 12 CRC
  • to plan the use of the complaints procedure introduced by the new CRC Optional Protocol after its entry into force
  • to contribute to a better protection of the rights of children with intellectual disabilities
  • to reduce the barriers that hinder their participation.


The project was carried out in collaboration with Lumos as a follow up of the project ‘Turning Words into Action: Enabling the Rights and Inclusion of children with intellectual disabilities in Europe’.



The project is implemented with the support of
the Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme
of the European Union.


Project Number JUST/2011/FRAC/AG/2735
Implementation Period 1.12.2012 – 30.11.2014 (24 months)
Funded by Fundamental Rights – Directorate General for Justice
Project Coordinator Inclusion Europe
Operating Partners
  • Eurochild (BE)
  • The Cedar Foundation – Bulgaria
  • QUIP- association for change – Czech Republic
  • Down Syndrom Foundation, Madrid, Spain
Grant awarded by the EC 158.579,67 €
Total Budget 220.000 €