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EASPD has joined a movement asking for the immediate withdrawal of the Draft additional protocol to the Oviedo Convention

Since 2014, the Committee of Bioethics of the Council of Europe (DH-BIO) has started to work on a legislation to regulate involuntary treatment and placement in psychiatry, known as the “draft additional protocol to the Oviedo Convention”.

Since 2014, the Committee of Bioethics of the Council of Europe (DH-BIO) has started to work on a legislation to regulate involuntary treatment and placement in psychiatry, known as the “draft additional protocol to the Oviedo Convention”.

The protocol’s text and spirit violate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and if adopted, would greatly undermine the rights of persons with disabilities, lead to further institutionalisation and forced treatment practices. A final draft has been approved and will be put for a vote in June 2021 within the Committee of Bioethics for final adoption at the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Several NGOs, people with lived experience, persons with disabilities, human rights organisations, United Nations experts and internal bodies of the Council have voiced their opposition against this protocol.

The Draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention:

  • Violates human rights, as it includes involuntary treatment and placement in psychiatry, are prohibited under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which has been ratified by 46 out of 47 members of the Council of Europe.
  • Creates a legal conflict, as the adoption will create legal conflict between the obligation of states under the regional level (Council of Europe) and the international level (UN CRPD). Two varying standards will apply in European states that ratified the UNCRPD.
  • Solidifies institutionalisation; this protocol will further the risk solidifying the institutionalisation of persons with disabilities. The practice is widely condemned by the UNCRPD, the committee on the Rights of Persons with disabilities and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with disabilities.
  • Increases Coercion, there is a fear that countries that have adopted similar legislation on involuntary treatment and placement enshrined in the draft additional protocol have seen an increase of Coercion in psychiatry.

Join the movement opposing the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention and urge the Council of Europe to withdraw it.
#WithdrawOviedo: Ending coercion in mental healthcare
 
An advocacy tool has been launched by EDF and MHE to lead the actions against the legislation which has been drafted.

The European Disability Forum (EDF) is an organisation that aims at ensuring full inclusion of persons with disabilities in society. They actively participate in policy development, implementation, and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Europe.

Mental Health Europe (MHE) is a European non-governmental organisation that promotes positive mental health, the prevention of mental distress, the improvement of care, advocacy for social inclusion and the protection of the rights of (ex) users of mental health services, persons with psychosocial disabilities, their families and carers.