Walter Keim, E-Mail:
Almbergskleiva 64
NO-6657 Rindal, 8.7.2015

Council of Europe

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

67075 Strasbourg Cedex


Subject: UNACCEPTABLE: NORWAY ranks highest in Europe in use of coercion in psychiatry legitimating human rights breach forced drugging

Dear Commissioner for Human Rights,

thank you for your visit and report of Norway (1) with the call to end practices which result in forced institutionalisation and treatment of people with disabilities.

Thank you for taking into account legal opinion of MDAC showing that Norway should withdraw reservations to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), because they undermine the very object and purpose of the CRPD. MDAC send this legal opinion to the Prime Ministers Office filed under reference 2013/1135 but not answered.

The governments answer “acknowledges the challenges and complex questions” and “will consider further steps on the basis of the coming assessment of the national strategy carried out by the Directorate of health”. Obviously Norway's answer of practising more coercion then any other country in Europe is wrong. These human right violations of forced drugging are not necessary in a democratic society. 15 years talk and plans to reduce coercion in treatment have been a failure, i. e. one third increase (4).

I think this is unacceptable for a country such as Norway, which has a global reputation promoting and protecting human rights. Therefore I wrote to the Norwegian Prime Minister.

In order to make it easier for other people to support this letter to the Norwegian Prime minister, I started a campaign (2).

In addition I would like to draw your attention that 5 UN Committees are concerned about reducing and removing coercion in psychiatry in Norway (3). This information was passed on to the Prime Minister of Norway (ref. 2015/815), Ministry of Health and Care Services (ref. 2014/4257), Directorate of Health (ref: 2012/9562), Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion (ref. 2013/4343), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ref. 11/05400) and Parliament Storting.

Compared with other European countries, Norway ranks the highest when it comes to the use of compulsory treatment” in mental health care (page 44, reference 6) .

The Committee against Torture asks Norway in its List of issues due 2016 to indicate:

(a) “Whether the use of restraints and the enforced administration of intrusive and irreversible treatments such as neuroleptic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy has been abolished in law...”

The Ministry of Health answer to me has so far been to wait for the results of a National Strategy to reduce coercion in Psychiatry (2012-2015). Results has so far not exceeded 5 to 7 % per year. However since year 2000 it was known that coercion in psychiatry raises human rights questions and there have been plans to reduce coercion in psychiatry. The overall result was an increase of a third from 2000 to 2015 (4).

I send a copy to Norwegian civil society shareholders to keep them informed.


Walter Keim

Copy: Prime Minister of Norway (ref. 2015/815), Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion (ref. 2015/2134), Directorate of health (ref. 2015/581)

PS: MDACs legal opinion was filed by the Prime Ministers Office reference 2013/1135 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ref. 2011/11385)

References (documentation):

  1. NORWAY MUST FULLY RESPECT RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, SAYS the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks:


  3. 5 UN committees have criticized Norway and suggested to respect human rights of persons with psychososial disabilities:

  4. Reduction of coercion failed from 2000 to 2015 (Reduksjon av tvang feilet i 15 år):

  5. Reporting status for Norway for all Conventions:

  6. Compulsory Mental Health Care in Norway: A Study of the Interface between the Law and Psychiatry. Rigmor Randi Diseth cand.jur. (2013)

Walter Keim

[Patients rights]