all mental health laws are abolished
(Resolution Point # 1 of the G.A. of April 24, 2007)
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.