[Europe] [Norwegian] [German: folter-abschaffen.de]

Make Norway respect rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities

The campaign “Make Norway respect rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities” started 16. June 2015 made progress.

Following revelations about misconduct in coercive psychiatry in the newspaper VG the Parliament Stortinget reacted and suggested 3. May 2015 an investigation of coercion.

The government proposed 17. June 2016 to parliament Prop. 147 L (2015–2016) suggesting improved protection against involuntary treatment and use of coercion in psychiatry.

This is overdue. “Compared with other European countries, Norway ranks the highest when it comes to the use of compulsory treatment” in mental health care (page 44, Rigmor Randi Diseth). “The truth is that Norway has a long tradition of extensive use of compulsory admissions and has been a world leader in use of this kind of force in ‘psychiatry’.

However the proposition is based on the suggestions of the Paulsrud Committee 2011. It does not reflect that Norway has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as 130. state in 2013. Forced psychiatric interventions as disability-based discrimination are still allowed according to this proposition.

On the same day 17. June 2016 the government appointed a committee to propose how the Norwegian law can be adopted to meet international obligations e. g. CRPD (2). The report is due to 1. September 2018. Will the committee base its work on the reservations Norway’s government made?

According to the legal opinion of Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) Norway should withdraw reservations to CRPD, because they undermine the very object and purpose of the CRPD.

Call to Abolish Forced Psychiatry in Norway

Abolish forced psychiatric interventios (5) on the basis:

Binding Psychiatric Advance Directives (German Advanced directive) can be a first step (1).

Norway has the highest use of coercion in psychiatry in Europe (2).

5 UN committees (3), Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC), Ombud against discrimination (LDO), Directorate of Health, Disability organisation support reduction and removal of coercion.

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recommends 2013. " that the State party incorporate into the law the abolition of the use of restraint and the enforced administration of intrusive and irreversible treatments such as neuroleptic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy"

The UN Committee against Torture (CAT/C/NOR/QPR/8) asks Norway 2015 preparing Norway’s report for 2016:

(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...

(b) Ensuring that every competent patient, whether voluntary or involuntary, is fully informed about the treatment to be prescribed and given the opportunity to refuse treatment or any other medical intervention... ”

In General Comment 1 premise 42 the CRPD-committee states about force in psychiatry:

As has been stated by the Committee in several concluding observations, forced treatment by psychiatric and other health and medical professionals is a violation of the right to equal recognition before the law and an infringement of the rights to personal integrity (art. 17); freedom from torture (art. 15); and freedom from violence, exploitation and abuse (art. 16).”

Future improvements can be obtained by listening to WSO, CRPD Committee, 30 March 2015 to overcome these human right violations:

Campaign to Support CRPD Absolute Prohibition of Commitment and Forced Treatment: https://absoluteprohibition.org/author/chrusp/

Sign the campaign: https://www.causes.com/campaigns/102618-stop-torture-in-psychiatry-in-norway

It is necessary to inform UN Committees for CRPD, CCPR and Torture.


  1. Psychiatric Advance Directives: http://psychrights.org/Countries/AdvanceDirectives.htm

  2. Compared with other European countries, Norway ranks the highest when it comes to the use of compulsory: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/Europatoppen_tvang.html

  3. Norway violates it's human rights obligation to reduce and remove coercion in psychiatry: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/UN_coercion.html

  4. 30. Janury 2017: UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Special Rapporteur on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Special Rapporteur on Health issue Urgent Appeal to Norway on forced treatment/hospitalization (ref. UA Norway 1/2017): https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=22955

  5. Minkowitz, Advocacy paper on forced interventions as torture: http://www.chrusp.org/media/AA/AG/chrusp-biz/downloads/29591/supplementary_paper_on_article_11.doc

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