ALS activist Bjorn Formosa has been called out by the dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing Andrew Azzopardi, and the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability Oliver Scicluna regarding his plans for Dar Bjorn 2.
The two experts are claiming that Formosa’s plan goes contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because it does not encourage ALS patients to live in the community.
The conversation was started after Prof. Azzopardi posted an article on The Independent claiming that Bjorn’s ideas for Dar Bjorn 2 go against Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol.
Article 19 declares that; ‘States Parties to the present Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community…’
Azzopardi claimed Bjorn’s idea to “[construct] a project that will plonk 50 individuals (excluding staff) in a block of 8 floors ” will work against the integration of said individuals within society. This integration is something that the Government has been working on for the past few years.
Oliver Scicluna posted the article to his Facebook page, claiming that whilst he admires Bjorn greatly, he agreed with Prof. Azzopardi. “What seems a solution today, will result negatively in the future”, he said.
Bjorn Formosa went on to respond that he believes in the importance of a new Dar Bjorn, and that “by criticizing successful projects like Dar Bjorn, you’re just damaging the lives of those who are suffering “.