2013-11-09

End civil death – a call to action on the right to legal capacity in Europe | MDAC


End civil death – a call to action on the right to legal capacity in Europe


“The right to legal capacity is one of the most invisible human rights issues in Europe today, and is also one of the most important.”
Thomas Hammarberg, MDAC Honorary President and formerly Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe

Today, MDAC is calling for an end to guardianship systems in Europe. Our new report, Legal Capacity in Europe: A Call to Action to Governments and to the EU, highlights how guardianship systems cause misery and abuse. The report makes recommendations to European governments and, for the first time, asks the European Commission to upscale their attention. Currently its inaction causes a deepening of the democratic deficit of the EU, as citizens deprived of legal capacity are not allowed to vote in EU parliamentary elections across most of the Union.

The right to legal capacity is one of the most boring-sounding, yet one of the most fundamental rights which we all take for granted. Article 12 the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities mandates governments and the EU to pay heed to autonomy, rather than taking away people’s right to make choices about how to spend their money, where to live, and which healthcare interventions to agree to.

Civil death – Myths v. Reality of Guardianship
Hundreds of thousands of people with intellectual disabilities and people with psycho-social (mental health) disabilities have their legal capacity stripped from them across Europe.
End civil death – a call to action on the right to legal capacity in Europe | MDAC

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