[Europe] [Norwegian] [German: folter-abschaffen.de]
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.
Abolish forced psychiatric interventios (5) on the basis:
Page 5 of the speech of Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E Méndez in 22. meeting of the "Human Rights Council" 4. March 2013: "States should impose an absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual medical interventions against persons with disabilities, including the non-consensual administration of psychosurgery, electroshock and mind-altering drugs, for both long- and short- term application. The obligation to end forced psychiatric interventions based on grounds of disability is of immediate application and scarce financial resources cannot justify postponement of its implementation."
Report A/HRC/22/53 of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of 1. February 2013, Section 32: "For example, the mandate has held that the discriminatory character of forced psychiatric interventions, when committed against persons with psychosocial disabilities, satisfies both intent and purpose required under the article 1 of the Convention against Torture, notwithstanding claims of “good intentions” by medical professionals (ibid., paras. 47, 48)". Section 82.: "The prohibition of torture is one of the few absolute and non-derogable human rights, a matter of jus cogens, a peremptory norm of customary international law."
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities emphasizes full respect for legal capacity, the absolute prohibition of involuntary detention based on impairment and the elimination of forced treatment (see A/HRC/34/32)
The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, and on the right to health, Dainius Pûras: “Dignity must prevail” – An appeal to do away with non-consensual psychiatric treatment World Mental Health Day – Saturday 10 October 2015 «The concept of ‘medical necessity’ behind non-consensual placement and treatment falls short of scientific evidence and sound criteria.»
Appeal to Norway to discontinue forced treatment and hospitalization
by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Special
Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN
Special Rapporteur on the right to Health datet 30. January 2017
A man was placed under “compulsary mental health care”. Appeals to the Supervisory commission, Oslo district court, Borgating court of appeal and Supreme Court (2. January 2015) were rejected. The Council Govener (Fylkemann) rejected a complaint against coersive medical care.
The UN appeal is based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), the Convention against Torture (CAT), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). “These provisions impose an immediate obligation om the States to immediately discontinue these practices and reform laws allowing for deprivation of liberty and forced treatment on the basis of disabilities by replacing these practices with services in that meet needs expressed by persons with disabilities and respect the autonomy, choices, dignity and privacy. While awaiting a reply, we urge that all necessary interim measures to be taken to halt the alleged violations and prevent there re-occurance...”
Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on its visit to the United States of America. A/HRC/36/37/Add.2. “The persons are to be released if the grounds for hospitalization no longer exist. Involuntary institutionalization of persons with psychosocial disabilities and forced treatment is prohibited.”
“Forced treatment and other harmful practices, such as solitary confinement, forced sterilization, the use of restraints, forced medication and overmedication (including medication administered under false pretences and without disclosure of risks) not only violate the right to free and informed consent, but constitute ill-treatment and may amount to torture. Accordingly, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has called for the abolition of all involuntary treatment and the adoption of measures to ensure that health services, including all mental health services, are based on the free and informed consent of the person concerned.” Mental health and human rights. Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 31 January 2017 A/HRC/34/32
“The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad
Al Hussein,….. called for the elimination of practices such as
forced treatment, including forced medication, forced
electroconvulsive treatment, forced institutionalization and
41. “The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment made concrete recommendations for moving forward. He stressed the pressing need to abolish legislation that allowed persons with disabilities to be institutionalized...” A/HRC/39/36 Mental health and human rights Advance edited version Distr.: General 24 July 2018
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:
Restitution (restoration of liberty)
Compensation (economically, moral damage)
Rehabilitation (official declaration, public apologies)
Satisfaction (e. g. truth commission)
Guarantees of non-repetition
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.
Psychiatric Advance Directives: http://psychrights.org/Countries/AdvanceDirectives.htm
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
Norway violates it's human rights obligation to reduce and remove coercion in psychiatry: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/UN_coercion.html
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
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