Consultants of Committee on Rights of Individuals with Disabilities Increase Questions on Medical Method to Incapacity Used
The committee observed a minute’s silence in memory of the late committee expert Soumia Amrani from Morocco
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities today concluded its examination of France’s first report after its experts asked questions about its medical approach to disabilities, issues related to consent and the upbringing of children with disabilities, among other things.
At the beginning of the first meeting, Rosemary Kayess, Chair of the Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities, announced that the disability rights movement has lost a true champion in committee expert Soumia Amrani from Morocco, a well-known and respected advocate for people’s rights Disabilities, especially those with autism. Her tragic death on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, from the coronavirus was marked by a minute’s silence.
The Committee’s experts welcomed the recent actions taken by France, but noted that they are often inconsistent with the Convention as France has a medical approach to people with disabilities. The 2005 law that laid down the medical approach was the main sticking point, particularly Article 1, which created confusion between medical boards and disability organizations. This led to systemic discrimination against people with disabilities – how could France move to a rights-based model? In line with this medical approach, France appeared to support the Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention, which provided for imprisonment for people with disabilities in clear violation of their human rights. Was the State party willing to oppose the adoption of this protocol?
Committee experts said they had been made aware of inhuman and degrading conditions of detention in residential facilities, including forced medication, solitary confinement and unauthorized convulsive therapy. Have there been any plans to stop institutionalizing people with disabilities in order to provide the support they need to lead an independent life? There have been allegations of forced psychiatric medication, forced chemical treatments and hospitalization. Was the State party willing to abolish all legislation related to forced hospitalization as it was an act of torture?
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