New law on the accessibility of public places for people with disabilities

The exercise of the right to freedom of movement, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is an essential condition for an independent life and presupposes access to the physical environment. 

©MFAMIGR Girl in a wheelchair and woman walking cross the street


However, it is clear that, despite the accessibility obligations set out in the law of 29 March 2001 on the accessibility of places open to the public, there is still a discrepancy between intention and reality. It is therefore necessary to give more effectiveness to the relative legislation. 

The Law of 7 January 2022 on the accessibility to all of places open to the public, public roads and collective housing buildings (Loi du 7 janvier 2022 portant sur l’accessibilité à tous des lieux ouverts au public, des voies publiques et des bâtiments d’habitation collectifs) provides several levers to remedy these difficulties, for instance:

  • Accessibility requirements are no longer limited to places open to the public in the public domain, but will henceforth have to be applied to any place for collective use, public or private. 
  • 10% of dwellings will have to meet additional requirements in order to achieve a gradual increase in the number of dwellings adaptable to the needs of disabled people.
  • The introduction of the concept of solutions of equivalent effect to provide flexibility in the regulations and to allow for innovative and creative technical solutions in places open to the public.
  • The creation of an Accessibility Advisory Council, whose mission is to issue opinions on requests for exemptions and solutions of equivalent effect. The creation of this new council also allows for the active involvement of those directly concerned.
  • The introduction of penal sanctions in the event of work that does not comply with the requirements or in the event of refusal to bring an existing property into compliance. 

The law of 7 January 2022 will be applicable from 1 July 2023.

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