The association is a Human Rights organization that opposes psychiatric coercion and aims to abolish psychiatric coercive measures altogether and to promote the fundamental rights of self-determination, liberty, and human dignity.

UN: "Insanity defence" must be-
abolished !

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights acceptetd our demand put forth in our statutes article 2.(B) h. to abolich the UN resolution 46/119 of December 17, 1991 on the treatment of "mental patients": In a report to the General assembly of UN of "on enhancing awareness and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" the High Commissioner definitly states, that
  • the Insanity defense "must be abolished" (see Article 47 below)
  • and that the "Convention radically departs " from the UN resolution ...on treatment of "mental patients" (see Article 48 below)
  • that all mental health laws using the pretex "as the likelihood of them posing a danger to themselves or others" "must be abolished" (see Article 49 below)

    "47. In the area of criminal law, recognition of the legal capacity of persons with disabilities requires abolishing a defence based on the negation of criminal responsibility because of the existence of a mental or intellectual disability.41 Instead disability-neutral doctrines on the subjective element of the crime should be applied, which take into consideration the situation of the individual defendant. Procedural accommodations both during the pretrial and trial phase of the proceedings might be required in accordance with article 13 of the Convention, and implementing norms must be adopted.5. Right to liberty and security of the person

    48. A particular challenge in the context of promoting and protecting the right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities is the legislation and practice related to health care and more specifically to institutionalization without the free and informed consent of the person concerned (also often referred to as involuntary or compulsory institutionalization). Prior to the entrance into force of the Convention, the existence of a mental disability represented a lawful ground for deprivation of liberty and detention under international human rights law.42 The Convention radically departs from this approach by forbidding deprivation of liberty based on the existence of any disability, including mental or intellectual, as discriminatory. Article 14, paragraph 1 (b), of the Convention unambiguously states that “the existence of a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty”. Proposals made during the drafting of the Convention to limit the prohibition of detention to cases “solely” determined by disability were rejected.43 As a result, unlawful detention encompasses situations where the deprivation of liberty is grounded in the combination between a mental or intellectual disability and other elements such as dangerousness, or care and treatment. Since such measures are partly justified by the person’s disability, they are to be considered discriminatory and in violation of the prohibition of deprivation of liberty on the grounds of disability, and the right to liberty on an equal basis with others prescribed by article 14.

    49. Legislation authorizing the institutionalization of persons with disabilities on the grounds of their disability without their free and informed consent must be abolished. This must include the repeal of provisions authorizing institutionalization of persons with disabilities for their care and treatment without their free and informed consent, as well as provisions authorizing the preventive detention of persons with disabilities on grounds such as the likelihood of them posing a danger to themselves or others, in all cases in which such grounds of care, treatment and public security are linked in legislation to an apparent or diagnosed mental illness....

    domenica 29 aprile 2012

    UN: Disability Convention on mental health laws abolition

    Only ratify the UN Disability Convention if, in doing so,
    all mental health laws are abolished

    (Resolution Point # 1 of the G.A. of April 24, 2007) 
    On 13-Dec-2006 the "Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities" passed the UN General Assembly. On 30-March-2007 governments signed the Convention in New York. This signature marks the beginning of a political debate about this convention and its political implications for those countries who signed the convention, namely: Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Community, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia , Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen.

    The result of this political process will be that in each of these countries either the convention will be ratified by its legislating bodies (in democratic countries: the parliaments) or not be ratified, which would contradict the prior support of its creation by its government.

    Because this convention concerns the human rights of the disabled, it is crucial to terminate the systematic and wide-spread violation of human rights sanctioned by law legalizing psychiatric coercive measures, compulsory hospitalization and forced treatment as well as the arbitrary prolongation of imprisonment in the forensic unit as punishment. If the convention is to be ratified and thus become law in these countries without the psychiatric special laws being invalidated, it would become the opposite of what it intended: it would become another instrument against the civil and human rights of all individuals who were psychiatrically/medically slandered as allegedly being "mentally ill". These "diagnoses" are defined in the convention with the term "disabled" (Article 1, par. 2): "Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments … " [Bold and underlining added by us]

    The convention explicitly bears down on the legal discrimination of persons with disabilities (Article 2, par. 3):
    "… Discrimination on the basis of disability" means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. …"

    The convention thereby explicitly forbids the possibilities which the national constitutions leave open by annulling constitutional rights with special laws if they have a "disability" as criterion. However that is precisely the case with the Mental Health Laws: the laws legalizing psychiatric confinement of non-criminals as well as the special forensic laws of the Penal Code have as an essential requirement a psychiatric assessment and/or a compulsory examination for this. They must therefore be abolished because they contradict the convention.

    Moreover, in Article 12 the convention obligates a ratifying state as follows:
    Equal recognition before the law
    1. States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law.
    2. States Parties shall recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.

    Thus any forced guardianship and the compulsory hospitalization, including coercive treatment which is thereby made possible, must be terminated. No longer can the words "protection" and the alleged "well-being" of the persons concerned serve as a cynical pretext for such measures.

    To support this legal interpretation of the convention we recommend commissioning an expertise by lawyers specialized in international Human Rights, taking into account the specific national laws.
    We call on organizations for persons with disabilities to urgently take a stance against a ratification of the convention by the national legislators if it does not fulfill that which it pledges: legally binding freedom from discrimination. Legal discrimination is exercised in its most radical, brutal and abhorrent form by the laws legalizing coercive psychiatry. Should organizations for persons with disabilities nevertheless press for a rapid ratification because they anticipate the effects of positive discrimination from the convention, a ratification without the abolishment of coercive psychiatry would come at an intolerable price: the continuation of the barbarity of coercive psychiatry with its torture-like practices and the denial of self-determination by individuals who were slandered in the psychiatric-medical jargon as alleged "mentally ill".

    A ratification which maintains the Mental Health Laws would make the convention a cynical caricature: The convention would become an additional instrument of camouflage and cover-up for psychiatric violence. It would become a part of the problem instead of its solution. 

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