5 July 2021

MHE and EDF call on Council of Europe to withdraw Oviedo

Mental Health Europe, together with the European Disability Forum and other stakeholders, call on the Council of Europe, and its Committee of Bioethics, to halt working on legislation that would allow any forms of involuntary treatment and placement in psychiatry. 

Back in 2019, the Committee of Bioethics started to work on a compendium on good practices in mental healthcare which was considered an important and positive initiative. Our organisations were invited and participated to a roundtable consultation on this work in November 2019 in Brussels. We also contributed written inputs on the concept note on this work and disseminated the call for good practice.


But, our organisations can no longer support this work as long as the Council of Europe continues to put the draft additional protocol to the Oviedo Convention for adoption. We are in particular concerned to see the compendium presented together with the draft protocol at the Committee of Bioethics’s meeting in November 2021.


We call on the Council of Europe and its Committee of Bioethics to withdraw the draft additional protocol to the Oviedo Convention and ensure that the compendium on good practices and potential recommendations on ending coercion align with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Parliamentary Assembly’s Resolution and recommendation on ending coercion in mental health: the need for a human rights-based approach and the Human Rights Comment on “Reform of mental health services: an urgent need and a human rights imperative” published by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights in April 2021.

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