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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Recommendations of International Disability Alliance (IDA) to CAT re Sri Lanka

Recommendations from IDA :
Closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in national and regional strategies to prevent torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment in accordance with Articles 4(3) and 15 of the CRPD.

Adopt measures to ensure that all health care and services, provided to persons with disabilities, including all mental health care and services, is based on the free and informed IDA recommendations on Sri Lanka consent of the person concerned, and that involuntary treatment and confinement are not permitted by law in accordance with the latest standards of international human rights law.(“Legislation authorizing the institutionalization of persons with disabilities on the grounds of their disability without their free and informed consent must be abolished. This must include the repeal of provisions authorizing institutionalization of persons with disabilities for their care and treatment without their free and informed consent, as well as provisions authorizing the preventive detention of persons with disabilities on grounds such as the likelihood of them posing a danger to themselves or others, in all cases in which such grounds of care, treatment and public security are linked in legislation to an apparent or diagnosed mental illness.”(OHCHR Thematic Study on enhancing awareness and understanding of the CRPD, A/HRC/10/48, 26 January 2009, para 49; see also OHCHR Information note no 4, “The existence of a disability can in no case justify a deprivation of liberty.” http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/60UDHR/detention_infonote_4.pdf).

Recognise and respect the legal capacity of persons with disabilities to make their own decisions in all aspects of life, including health and mental health services. (The Special Rapporteur on Torture has recommended that “in keeping with the Convention, States must adopt legislation that recognizes the legal capacity of persons with disabilities and must ensure that, where required, they are provided with the support needed to make informed decisions”; and in particular, “article 12 recognizes their equal right to enjoy legal capacity in all areas of life, such as deciding where to live and whether to accept medical treatment” Report of Special Rapporteur on Torture, 28 July 2008, A/63/175, paras 73 and 44 respectively)

Incorporate into the law the abolition of violent and discriminatory practices against children and adults with disabilities in the medical setting, including deprivation of liberty, the use of restraint and the enforced administration of intrusive and irreversible treatments such as neuroleptic drugs and electroshock, recognized as forms of torture and ill-treatment, in conformity with recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on Torture (A/63/175, para 63), .

Ensure that all cases of ill-treatment and death occurring in institutions are duly investigated and where necessary criminal convictions are pursued. Ensure remedies for victims or their families, including compensation and rehabilitation.

Take steps to establish an independent body to monitor hospitals and places of detention which would monitor the status of patients/residents, the training of personnel, and the protocols in place (including their observance) for recording of all incidents of violence, use of restraints (both physical and chemical methods), and complaints in psychiatric hospitals and social welfare institutions.

Make a plan with target dates and monitoring to close down institutions for children and adults with disabilities and realize the right of persons with disabilities to live in the community by ensuring that housing is affordable and accessible for persons with disabilities, that they have the legal right to choose where and with whom to live on an equal basis with others, and by making available support services to realize the will and preference of individuals as to how they wish to live.

Require law enforcement, judicial and health professionals (Prosecutor’s office, police, investigating officials, judges, legal aid lawyers, hospital and institution staff) to be trained on the human rights, dignity, autonomy and needs of persons with disabilities.

Take steps to ratify to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and accede to its Optional Protocol

For the full report please see here


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