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Article 9 Advocacy

June 16, 2014
A joint letter calling on the UN Human Rights Committee to align its interpretation of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with the approach of the CRPD  has been submitted. The letters calls for the prohibition of any kind of detention and compulsory treatment in a mental health facility that is based on the existence of a disability.

This joint letter, an initiative lead by WNUSP UN Representative, Tina Minkowitz, was endorsed by DPOs, allied organizations in the fields of disability and human rights, and individual experts has been submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee.  WNUSP is pleased at the wide range of support from countries, organizations and individuals across the world.

The letter states that: “The Human Rights Committee should join the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in urging states to ensure that no person is detained in any kind of a mental health facility and that all mental health services are based only on the free and informed consent of the person concerned. The legal capacity of persons with disabilities to give or withdraw consent for mental health services or hospitalization must be respected at all times, including in crisis situations, and supports must be provided for decision-making that are based on the person’s will and preferences, rather than best interests.” The full letter can be down loaded here: Joint Submission Article 9 June 2014
There are also excellent submissions from the Special Rapporteur Disability and from Autistic Minority International, which go into more detail about the CRPD approach and the opposition to mental health detention in any form.  WNUSP is very happy for this great support and collaboration. These submissions can be found at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CCPR/Pages/DGCArticle9.aspx
aubrey shomoAlso, great work has been done by Aubrey Shomo,  uploading and making available video footage of side events at the United Nations. She writes: “Videos of all of the speakers for the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry side-event at the United Nations Office at Geneva for the review of the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in now online.As you know the Human Rights Committee, overseeing the ICCPR, has not found as favorably for our rights as the other UN Mechanisms.Nonetheless, our efforts to educate them may have some value for each of you in your work to repeal laws permitting mental health detention and forcible treatment.”

Here is the playlist of the entire side event: Please note that there are a number of video’s to watch!
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