MINDFREEDOM IRELAND PRESS RELEASE.
UN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST TO SPEAK IN CORK
U.S. lawyer and human rights activist Tina Minkowitz will speak at a public meeting in Cork on January 20th.
Ms Minkowitz is a former co-chairperson of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) and is founder of the Centre for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.
She represented WNUSP in the drafting and negotiation of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in New York in 2007 and is credited with much of the advanced thinking of the CRPD in the area of legal capacity, liberty and respect for the integrity of the person, in effect providing human rights campaigners with a new foundation for challenging established standards in ‘mental health’ care.
To date 160 countries have formally ratified the Convention. The continuing Lunacy Regulation Act 1871 which condemned people to the status of non-citizens had caused problems for the Irish government and even though the long awaited Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was finally signed into law on 30th December 2015, issues surrounding ‘mental capacity’ and ‘legal capacity’ still remain, leaving Ireland one of only 11 countries, 10 years later, still to ratify the Convention.
In Cork, Ms Minkowitz will speak about her Absolute Prohibition Campaign which calls for a total and absolute ban on involuntary detention and forced treatment of people with psycho-social disabilities. She says that too often the pain and suffering resulting from forced psychiatry is not acknowledged or is made to seem insignificant with the testimonies of survivors frequently disbelieved.
Fear and terror, disassociation from mind and body, brain damage including memory loss, deprivation of privacy and subjection to the will of others, withdrawal syndrome from psychiatric drugs, diabetes and damage to organs such as liver, kidney and thyroid are among the many effects experienced, making forced psychiatry a focal point for discrimination.
Ms Minkowitz has given expert presentations to the UN, government and NGOs in several countries and consults with interested parties analysing draft legislation in light of the CRPD. She comes to Cork from Galway where she addressed a conference in UCG on ‘Consent and Refusal: Mental Health Human Rights and the Law’.
As a worldwide initiative, her Absolute Prohibition Campaign is open to all survivors and non-survivors, relatives, lawyers, researchers, academics, service providers and journalists so long as they actually support the aim of prohibiting and abolishing all involuntary commitment and forced treatment.
The talk is being organised by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based psychiatric survivor and support group which for the past 14 years has been also campaigning for the same objectives.
It takes place in Bru Columbanus, Wilton, Cork on Friday January 20th at 7.00 pm. Admission is free but donations are welcome.
January 9, 2017.