Mental Health Europe has welcomed Bulgaria’s decision to object to the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention on involuntary treatment and placement.
The announcement was made by Mitchell Koralski, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Agency for People with Disabilities, at the 407th Meeting of the 20th Session Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Despite strong opposition from people with lived experience and other experts, earlier this year the Council of Europe decided to continue negotiations on the draft Additional Protocol.
The Protocol aims to regulate ‘involuntary placement and treatment of persons with mental disorders’, but MHE believes it is out of step with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and could solidify rather than reduce institutionalisation and forced treatment of persons with psychosocial disabilities.
Now that Bulgaria has officially objected to the draft, joining Portugal in expressing opposition, MHE and other campaigners believe more states could follow suit.
MHE and others have long campaigned against the Additional Protocol. In May MHE, in conjunction with other organisations, sent an open letter to the Council of Europe and its Committee on Bioethics. The letter, calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Protocol, can be read HERE.
For MHE’s other statements on the Additional Protocol, read our response to the public consultation HERE (2015) and our statement with the European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry HERE (2017).