Press Release – Oppose Protocol for Detention, Forced Treatment; Provide Alternatives #WithdrawOviedo


(Brussels) – Council of Europe member states should oppose new proposed standards regulating the detention and forced treatment of people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today. The body in charge of developing the standards, the Council of Europe’s Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), consisting of experts from each member state, is to meet on November 21, 2018 in Strasbourg.

The new standards are being developed as a draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention on Bioethics, a Council of Europe convention that regulates human rights in the framework of biology and medicine. The Additional Protocol aims to provide a framework for involuntary hospitalization and treatment of people with so-called “mental disorder” in Europe. The Council of Europe is an inter-governmental human rights organization consisting of 47 member countries, including the 28 European Union states. 

“The Council of Europe prides itself in promoting the highest human rights standards, but the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention goes against decades of hard-fought progress towards equal rights for people with disabilities.” said Lea Labaki, of the Disability Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. “European governments should publicly oppose the protocol and stop its further development.”

Read more here.