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Back to: Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Daily summary of discussions

Daily summary of discussions related to Article 11

UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Third session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
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Volume 4, #3
May 26, 2004

Commenced: 3:16 PM
Adjourned: 5:50 PM

Ireland said the EU supported 11.1 because it obliges States to implement the ICCPR and prohibits medical or scientific experimentation without consent. The EU has made proposals in relation to forced institutionalization in Article 10, and because forced interventions are dealt with in Article 12, the EU recommends deleting from 11.2 the following words: "and shall protect persons with disabilities from forced interventions or forced institutionalisation aimed at correcting, improving, or alleviating any actual or perceived impairment."

India proposed merging Articles 11 and 12. This new Article titled “Freedom from Torture, Degrading Treatment, Violence and Abuse” (available on the UN Enable website) retains 11.1 and 11.2 with an addition to 11.2. The new paragraphs 11.3, 11.4, and 11.5 are similar to Article 12. Both these articles deal with acts, which take away the fundamental freedoms, rights, and dignity of persons and should be treated together.

Canada supported the EU in deleting the last part of 11.2.

Japan supported the EU and Canada because Article 10 addresses institutionalization and Article 12 addresses the rest of 11.2.

Yemen stated that the title of Article 11 and 12 imply that they deal with one subject that could be combined, and supported India’s proposal. It does not support deleting 11.2, but it may be combined with Article 10.2.

Uganda supported 11.1 in total, and proposed adding in 11.2 the word “abduction” after “forced interventions." PWD are abducted and taken to institutions.

Argentina supported 11.1 in the original text. The language in 11.2 goes further than the Convention against Torture and therefore may fit in Article 12, Protection against Violence.

China supported the deletion of the last part of 11.2, as advocated by the EU and Canada. Forced interventions, footnote 38, is controversial and suggests placement a separate article or in another article.

South Africa supported 11.1 and removal of last part of 11.2, because it is already in Article 12.

Norway supported Canada, China and EU’s proposals to keep 11.1 and to delete the last part of 11.2.

Costa Rica supported the current text Article 11, but may agree to delete the second part of 11.2. There is a translation issue: The English version says “forced intervention" while the Spanish version says “forced medical interventions.”

Kenya supported retaining the original Article. Forced interventions and institutions are cruel and inhuman treatment, and should be addressed in this article. Article 11 and 12 should not be merged because Article 11 tracks other Conventions and Article 12 is unique to PWD.

Holy See proposed adding “, including sterilization” after “forced interventions” in 11.2.

Mexico spoke against the proposed merger of Article 11 and 12 because they are separate issues. In 11.2, kidnapping (abduction) should not be listed because it is a special kind of crime. It proposes a new Paragraph 11.3 to address monitoring the living situations of PWD: “In order to monitor living conditions and facilities of places where persons with disabilities are placed, international instruments shall be applied, as appropriate, including the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture, for the realization of visits by national or international bodies to detention centres.”

Singapore supported deleting the last part of 11.2.

Thailand supported the text as drafted and suggested adding “and other forms of experimentation" after "medical or scientific research," in order to be more inclusive.

Eritrea supported the WG's original text. Although 11.2 it is redundant with article 10, it is necessary to keep it in Article 11.

Sierra Leone supported the WG's original Article 11. The second part of 11.2 is important; footnote 38 merely states that there was disagreement about whether it should appear in Article 11 or Article 12. There was no disagreement about its necessity. The AHC needs to address appropriate legal procedures and safeguards relating to forced interventions. It would like to discuss whether to merge Articles 11 and 12 after the entire Convention is drafted.

Algeria does not favor merging Articles 11 and 12 because the seriousness of torture is different from abuse. It proposes adding the words “in all of its forms” after the word "torture" in 11.1.

Liechtenstein supported keeping Articles 11 and 12 separate. Different actors commit these different kinds of abuses. Article 11.1 mainly addresses the public sphere, while Article 11.2 deals with medical situations. The focus of Article 12 is on abuse and violence in the private sphere, which the State should do everything to prevent.

The floor was opened for comments from NGOs.

WNUSP stated that its members experience forced interventions such as electric shock and drugging which traumatize them for life. It agreed with Kenya that these practices constitute torture. Under international law, there is no distinction between torture and forced interventions. Abuse of political prisoners is understood and confronted; but in “medical” institutions it is more difficult to defend against violence, even though the torture is the same, because it is not referred to as such. Legal standards and procedural safeguards can never legitimize torture and other cruel treatment. WNUSP finds Algeria’s amendment constructive.

Society of Catholic Social Scientists supported the WG draft text with the Holy See’s amendment adding forced sterilization, because of the danger posed by eugenics interventions. Bodily integrity is a vital concern to PWD.

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