Mental Health Europe in Geneva for the EU-CRPD review Let’s use all means possible at EU level to guarantee equal rights
Brussels, 28 August 2015 – On 27-28 August the EU and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities discuss the implementation by the EU of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This Constructive Dialogue echoes the EU’s reply to the list of issues and raises pivotal questions. A Mental Health Europe delegation is attending the Constructive Dialogue in Geneva to ensure that the perspective of people with psychosocial disabilities or mental health problems is not overridden. MHE is delighted that members of the CRPD committee used this opportunity to raise concerns about the implementation of essential rights for persons with mental health problems at EU level, namely Article 12 (legal capacity), Article 14 (liberty and security of the person) and Article 15 (freedom from degrading or inhuman treatment).
The Committee reminded the EU about the many available non-binding tools to promote these rights. In his response to the committee, Michel Servoz, Director General of DG EMPL, agreed that the EU should coordinate such actions also in fields where they do not have formal legislative competence. “Whilst the EU does not have legal competence in relation to Article 12 we would like to see the EU encourage research into and sharing of best practice in relation to supported decision making for people with disabilities. The EU is in a position to show considerable leadership in this area”. said Nigel Henderson, MHE President after the first day of discussions.
During the dialogue, MHE was also pleased to hear that the Committee questioned the EU Commission about its planned process for access to operating grants to disability organisations in the coming years. With respect to Article 4 of the Convention, the EU must take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities in all policies and programmes and the implementation of the CRPD is to be done in close collaboration with the representative disability organisations.
This necessitates adequate financial support to these organisations but the process for obtaining this support has been delayed and not sufficiently transparent in the last few years. Further to this dialogue meeting, the Committee will issue its concluding observations and make recommendations for follow-up on 3 September.
MHE calls on the CRPD Committee to recommend to the EU to use all means at its disposal to facilitate progress in the field of human rights for persons with disabilities at EU level and to contribute to putting an end to every violation of these rights.