|The Mental Disability Advocacy Centre supports the rights
of persons with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems.
This organisation is called MDAC for short.
MDAC looked at the situation of persons with disabilities
They said different things:
to go to school like children without disabilities.
the same chance to vote as other people.
so they can live included in the community.
In a public letter, the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) called on the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) to uphold disability rights standards. The Committee needs to ensure its recommendations on the Czech Republic are brought in line with the CRPD so that it is in a position to offer a global approach to human rights for all, MDAC noted.
This letter was sent to the Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee on 8 August 2013. In July the HRC examined the Czech Republic’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and MDAC sent reports to help the Committee with its work. However MDAC noted that many of the issues raised in their submissions were not reflected in the concluding observations.
They noted with concern that the Committee did not address the continued segregation experienced by children with intellectual disabilities in education. Under the CRPD inclusive education means placing children with disabilities into mainstream schools, but also providing them with the support they require to ensure their effective participation. Placing children in segregated schools, in segregated classes in mainstream schools, or in segregated classes outside the school perimeter because of their disability is a form of discrimination and a violation of international law.
The Committee’s recommendations on the right to vote fall short of standards of universal suffrage set out in the CRPD, MDAC underlined. In paragraph 12 of the concluding observations, the Committee recommends that the Czech government “ensure that it does not discriminate against persons with mental, intellectual or psychosocial disabilities by denying them the right to vote on basis that are disproportionate or that have no reasonable and objective relationship to their ability to vote.”
MDAC criticised this observation, emphasising that there would never be a circumstance in which it would be proportional to remove the right to vote of persons with disabilities. It urged the committee to amend this paragraph and ensure that all persons with disabilities can fully participate on an equal basis as others.
The principle of equal participation is reflected in article 29 of the CRPD which stipulates that “States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others, and shall undertake to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected”.
MDAC further urged the Committee to recommend to States that they ban all forms of physical and chemical restraints and seclusion against people with disabilities under the framework of protection from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and as violations of Article 7 of the ICCPR.
“The Committee can play an important role in combatting the system of institutionalisation by recommending that governments provide community based services that ensure the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in society”, said a representative of MDAC.
Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
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