Promoting and Defending Rights within L’Arche

Day after day, the news reminds us of abuse and violence targeted toward people with intellectual disabilities. Unfortunately, there are many other victims, yet this population constitutes some of our most vulnerable and at risk citizens.

Respect, listening and dignity are at the heart of the mission of L’Arche. Yet we are aware that even in L’Arche there have been incidents of abuse of vulnerable persons. We are committed to abuse prevention training for the members with disabilities as well as the assistants so that we can minimize the possibility of future abuse.

On our site, you will find a new section where we will share our commitment to promoting the respect of all people and preventing abuse, discrimination and harassment.

Thierry Boyer, a member of L’Arche Canada’s Board of Directors, has prepared a well-researched presentation on our policies to be used in case of abuse. This policy was devised within the present social context, referencing efforts taken by other organizations and institutions.

You may or may not be aware that The Guiding Principles for the Establishment and Review of Abuse Policies already provide a framework to ensure that community abuse policies remain current. The policy was adopted in June of 2008 and revised in June of 2015.

Thierry Boyer reminds us that our concern with this issue is essential, deeply affecting people’s quality of life and the quality of their services. He stresses that, “Healthy spaces rely on management practices based on respect, equality, work-life balance, reducing sources of stress and violence, eliminating discrimination, promoting autonomy, growth and training opportunities and organizational justice, whatever this may require…”

“In accordance with its identity and mission, L’Arche Canada as an organization is committed to transforming people’s lives, transforming our society, and making a significant contribution to creating a more inclusive society. As a movement, L’Arche is devoted to promoting the respect and protection of all people.” The protection of all people, especially our most vulnerable people is fundamental to L’Arche’s values.

If they haven’t already, all L’Arche communities are committed to the adoption of the guiding principles related to abusive situations while respecting the applicable requirements and parameters for each province. These policies consider preventative and intervention strategies to be as important as assistance and supportive measures, preparing for all scenarios as required. Communities are also encouraged to adopt and commit to preventative measures that will help to stop all forms of abuse, harassment and discrimination. 

Here you can also find our complete policies as well as links to various resources.

Read more on our values : Bubble of the Month—Celebrate the Value of Each Person.