THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS
OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Freedom from Torture
and Other Forms of Abuse
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 15, Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
1. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his or her free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.
2. States Parties shall take all effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, from being subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 16, Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender-based aspects.
2. States Parties shall also take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including through the provision of information and education on how to avoid, recognize and report instances of exploitation, violence and abuse. States Parties shall ensure that protection services are age-, gender- and disability-sensitive.
3. In order to prevent the occurrence of all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, States Parties shall ensure that all facilities and programmes designed to serve persons with disabilities are effectively monitored by independent authorities.
4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protection services. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment that fosters the health, welfare, self-respect, dignity and autonomy of the person and takes into account gender- and age-specific needs.
5. States Parties shall put in place effective legislation and policies, including women- and child-focused legislation and policies, to ensure that instances of exploitation, violence and abuse against persons with disabilities are identified, investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.
The information contained in this chapter will enable participants to work towards the following objectives:
· Define the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment;
· Define the right to be free from exploitation, violence, and abuse;
· Explain the importance for persons with disabilities of the rights relating to freedom from torture and other forms of violence;
· Understand the interrelationship between the right to be free from torture and other forms of violence, and other human rights;
· Identify ways in which the prohibitions against torture and other forms of violence have been violated and efforts to prevent such violations; and
· Describe the provisions regarding the right to be free from torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and the right to be free from exploitation, violence, and abuse outlined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
GETTING STARTED: THINKING ABOUT THE RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM TORTURE AND OTHER FORMS OF VIOLENCE
Persons with disabilities are particularly at risk for exposure to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Likewise, persons with disabilities are vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and abuse. Many violations against persons with disabilities go unnoticed because they frequently are forced into institutionalized settings or other places that are isolated and hidden from public scrutiny, such as private and group homes, psychiatric hospitals, detention centres, and prisons. Like all human beings, persons with disabilities have the right under human rights law to be free from all forms of violence and abuse.
World Report on Disability:
Persons with disabilities are at greater risk of being exposed to violence
· Persons with disabilities are at greater risk of violence than persons without disabilities.
· Research in the United States discloses that violence against persons with disabilities is 4–10 times greater than violence against persons without disabilities.
· The prevalence of sexual abuse against persons with disabilities is reported to be higher than such abuse against persons without disabilities.
· Sexual violence is particularly prevalent for persons who are institutionalized and for persons with intellectual disabilities.
Source: World Health Organization & World Bank, World Report on Disability (2011): http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789240685215_eng.pdf
The enjoyment of the right of persons with disabilities to be free from torture and other forms of violence is related to their enjoyment of other human rights. For example, if a person with a disability is subjected to torture, his or her right to life may well be compromised and also his or her right to health – both physical and mental – is surely at risk. Where children with disabilities are subjected to violence and abuse in educational settings, their right to health, as well as their right to an education is violated. (For more on the rights of children with disabilities, see Part 2, Chapter 15, “The Human Rights of Children with Disabilities”). Persons with disabilities in institutional settings are often subject to degrading conditions where they receive little or no care, have no means to fulfil basic necessities of personal hygiene, or have no access to meaningful activities of interest. Such conditions violate a number of additional human rights beyond the right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment, including the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to recreation, and the right to health. These examples demonstrate how human rights are indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated.
Factors Contributing to Violence against Persons with Disabilities
· Negative myths and stereotypes about disability that relegate persons with disabilities to powerless positions and the perception of being an “easy target” for perpetrators.
· Power imbalances between persons with disabilities and their caregivers.
· Isolation in homes or institutions away from public and governmental scrutiny.
· Lack of education and training that helps to identify and address violence, especially for women and girls with disabilities.
· Lack of training by family members, caregivers, and health professionals on appropriate care for persons with disabilities.
· Armed conflict and certain environmental hazards, such as landmines.
· Cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation, “virgin rape” of women with disabilities (based on the false assumption that they are asexual and often connected to notions of cure for HIV), and withholding food from infants with disabilities.
Human rights law draws some distinctions between torture on the one hand and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment on the other. Where an action does not meet the precise definition of torture, it may be considered cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, depending on the form, severity, and purpose of the conduct. Advocates need to understand the legal differences when they are making claims and reporting on violations. It is also important to understand, however, that the lines between torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment may be difficult to draw in any given case. In part, it requires assessing the intensity and duration of pain and the particular circumstances of the individual. Abuse that some courts may recognize as torture may be characterized differently by other courts.
Torture is one of the most serious violations of human rights. The right to be free from torture and other forms of physical and mental ill-treatment is absolute and may not be suspended or restricted under any circumstances. Because of the risk of torture and other ill-treatment occurring during police custody, a number of procedural safeguards have been put in place in international human rights law documents that aim to substantially reduce the risk of torture occurring.
Torture is a frequent cause of disability, and when torture is inflicted on a person with a disability, it may lead to secondary disabilities or the onset of a serious medical condition. Interrogation techniques amounting to torture, which are damaging to anyone, may be compounded for a person with certain disabilities or for those with medical conditions. In addition, if an interrogator fails to recognize a person’s disability, the person under questioning could mistakenly be considered non-cooperative, as in the case of a prisoner who is unable to hear or process a question or communicate an answer as a result of a disability.
Subjecting persons with disabilities to harmful forms of treatment in the name of “fixing” or “curing” their disability has a long history. The practices of displaying and photographing children with visible disabilities in hospital amphitheatres or subjecting persons with disabilities to display in circuses in forced-labour conditions are degrading as well as psychologically harmful.
The treatment of psychosocial illnesses especially illustrates abusive practices that may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. In many cultures, persons with psychosocial illness are considered to be possessed by demons that must be driven out, often by violent means, such as physical abuse or even drilling into the skull to “release the demon.” In the European middle ages, a standard approach to “cure madness” was isolation in darkness or public whipping. In the 18th century “Enlightenment,” persons with psychosocial disability were often segregated and held in public “madhouses,” such as the notorious Bedlam Hospital in London, to which citizens could purchase tickets for the amusement of looking at the detainees.
The abusive treatment of persons with psychosocial disabilities is not confined to the distant past. Disability organizations have documented contemporary examples of abusive treatment, which constitute some of the most extreme forms of torture or inhuman and degrading treatment against persons with disabilities. This includes the long-term use of restraints, especially under painful conditions; involuntary use of electroshock therapy (ECT) and without anaesthesia; and detention in dangerous facilities without any protection from violence or access to medical care or rehabilitation for victims of violence. The use of brain-damaging surgeries, such as lobotomy (brain surgery designed to numb the emotions), without consent is still practiced, often performed on women deemed to be “too emotional.” The use of harmful medications designed to “subdue” persons with psychosocial disabilities is another example of coercive treatment that violates human rights. Disability Rights International (DRI) has exposed instances of abuse where a particular psychiatric “treatment” is, in fact, being used as a punishment and has argued persuasively that such conduct violates the torture prohibition.
Physical and mental abuse and gross neglect endangering the lives of persons with disabilities housed in institutional facilities are widespread. Reports issued by DRI on conditions for persons with mental disabilities warehoused in dismal institutions detail unhygienic conditions, lack of adequate food, water, clothing, and medical care; and other life-threatening conditions. DRI has also documented instances of complete sensory deprivation in barren, long-term isolation cells in institutions. These conditions are clear examples of prohibited conduct that falls under the definition of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
Addressing Human Rights Abuse in Institutional Settings
· In 2006, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights held that Brazil violated the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights in its first case concerning a person with a psychosocial disability. The case concerned the death of a man in a private psychiatric clinic who was subjected to beatings by clinic personnel and who died three days after his admission. The Inter-American Court held that Brazil violated his right to life and the right to be free from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Ximenes-Lopes v. Brazil, 2006 Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 149 (July 4, 2006).
· In 1999, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that requiring persons with disabilities to live in institutions in order to access services constitutes illegal discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Olmstead decision requires public entities to provide services and conduct activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities. Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581, 119 S.Ct. 2176 (1999).
· In 1997, the European Court of Human Rights held that the removal of an alien drug courier dying of AIDS to his country of origin (St. Kitts) where he had no accommodation, family, moral or financial support and no access to adequate medical treatment would constitute a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention. D. v. United Kingdom, 1997-III Eur. Ct. H.R. (1997)
Medical and Scientific Experimentation
Medical and scientific experimentation without free and informed consent is a human rights violation to which persons with disabilities continue to be subjected. It is part of the torture prohibition but is specifically referenced in international human rights documents, including the CRPD, because some of the worst known examples of such abuse occurred during the Holocaust, when persons with disabilities, among others, were subjected to horrific medical experiments. At the Nuremberg Tribunal, Nazi doctors were ultimately tried and convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their participation in such experiments.
The prohibition of medical and scientific experimentation without informed consent is especially relevant in the context of certain diseases that cause disabling conditions and for which medical science offers no cure. For these reasons, they are the subject of intense medical research and experimentation. A situation often faced by persons with psychosocial disabilities is the provision of an untested regimen of various drugs or therapies that in combination are unproven. Such a practice must surely constitute “experimentation” as opposed to “treatment” and would therefore violate human rights law unless free and fully informed consent is given.
WHAT DOES HUMAN RIGHTS LAW SAY ABOUT FREEDOM FROM TORTURE AND OTHER FORMS OF VIOLENCE?
The prohibition against torture is a core principle in human rights law; the right to be free from torture may not be suspended or limited under any circumstances. Reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment also finds expression in many other international documents, including a specialized treaty on the subject, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
Other specialized international human rights conventions have also sought to address forms of violence beyond torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. For example, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) protects the right of the child to be free from torture and also specifically protects the right of the child to be free from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse” and further recognizes State obligations regarding sexual exploitation and abuse, economic exploitation, and promoting recovery of child victims.
Defining various categories of violence and abuse can be challenging and the lines between different forms of conduct are often not easily drawn. CAT provides detailed standards for the effective prohibition of torture and other ill treatment, including guarantees of survivor assistance and legal redress for those who have experienced torture or other forms of prohibited treatment or punishment. Article 1 of CAT defines torture as:
… any act committed by a public official or other person acting in an official capacity or at the instigation of or with the consent of such a person – by which severe physical or mental pain or suffering is intentionally inflicted on a person for a specific purpose, such as extortion of information or confession, punishment, intimidation or discrimination.
Actions that do not meet this definition in all its elements may fall under the category of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, depending on the type of conduct in question. Unfortunately human rights tribunals have not offered clear standards by which to make this judgment.
The CRPD addresses violence and abuse in two specific provisions: Article 15, Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and Article 16, Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse. Together, these provisions recognize:
· The right of persons with disabilities to be free from torture, as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
· The right of persons with disabilities to be free from medical or scientific experimentation unless they have provided informed consent.
· The right of persons with disabilities to be free from all forms of exploitation and abuse.
· The obligation of States to take measures to prevent persons with disabilities from being subjected to torture and other types of prohibited abuse.
· The obligation of States to take measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence, and abuse, including gender-related abuse.
· The obligation of States to take measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence, and abuse. Such preventive measures must ensure, among other things, the availability of appropriate forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including information and education on how to avoid, recognize, and report instances of exploitation, violence, and abuse.
· The obligation of States to ensure that protection services are age-, gender- and disability-sensitive.
· The obligation of States to ensure the effective monitoring of all facilities and programmes designed to serve persons with disabilities.
· The obligation of States to take measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence, or abuse in an environment that respects the rights and dignity of victims, their age and gender.
· The obligation of States to adopt laws and policies to ensure that exploitation, violence, and abuse against persons with disabilities are identified, investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.
The Duty to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil Obligations Prohibiting Torture and Other Forms of Abuse
Taken as a whole, States’ obligations with regard to the right to be free from torture and other forms of abuse include:
1. Obligation to respect: States must refrain from engaging in any act, custom, or practice that creates barriers to enjoyment of the right of persons with disabilities to be free from torture and other forms of abuse.
Example: The State refrains from using torture in questioning prisoners with disabilities and refrains from subjecting persons with disabilities in prison or otherwise detained or living in an institutional setting to any form of abuse.
Example: The State enacts legislation that prohibits the subjection of persons with disabilities to medical or scientific experimentation unless they are in a position to provide full and informed consent without any coercion or undue influence whatsoever.
2. Obligation to protect: States must ensure that non-State or private actors do not violate the right of persons with disabilities to be free from torture or other abuse.
Example: The State takes measures to protect persons with disabilities from inhuman or degrading conditions in both public and private institutional settings.
Example: The State ensures that persons with disabilities held in privately run detention centres receive disability accommodations and that accessibility measures are undertaken.
3. Obligation to fulfil: States must take proactive steps to ensure enjoyment of the right to be free from torture and other abuse by persons with disabilities.
Example: The State provides appropriate training of educators to ensure that children with disabilities are not subjected to forms of punishment that constitute violence and that they are protected against bullying and abuse by classmates.
Example: The State undertakes an effective investigation where an individual raises a claim of abuse, such as ill-treatment at the hands of providers in a social care home or psychiatric facility.
In sum, international human rights law strongly supports the right of persons with disabilities to be free from torture as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other forms of exploitation and abuse.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL INTEGRITY IN PRISON SETTINGS
Human rights law guarantees the right of all people deprived of their liberty to be treated with humanity and with respect for their inherent dignity. Article 10 of the ICCPR states that: “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.” The UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors implementation of the ICCPR, has stressed in General Comment 21 that prisoners should not be “subjected to any hardship or constraint other than that resulting from the deprivation of their liberty.” More attention should be given by the human rights community to the right of prisoners with disabilities to be provided with accommodations to ensure respect for their human rights and dignity while in prison.
The prohibition against torture and abusive treatment applies to prison authorities and requires protection from violence by other prisoners. It also requires protection from prison conditions that amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. International human rights instruments developed within the UN provide guidance as to how governments can comply with their international legal obligations in relation to prisoner rights, including, in some instances, specific guidance on the rights of prisoners and detained persons with disabilities. These documents include the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Standard Minimum Rules) adopted by the Economic and Social Council in 1957; the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by the General Assembly in 1988; and the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the General Assembly in 1990. While these instruments are not treaties, they provide authoritative guidance on the interpretation of binding human rights law.
International Standards for Persons in Prison or Detention
Standard Minimum Rules
· Provide that appropriate medical and mental health services are integral to a properly run prison and to the goal of rehabilitation: “The medical services…shall seek to detect and shall treat any…mental illnesses or defects which may hamper a prisoner’s rehabilitation. All necessary…psychiatric services shall be provided to that end.”
· Recognize the need to vary the housing, supervision, and care of offenders with mental disorders according to the degree of their disability. Prison mental health staff should provide for the psychiatric treatment of all other prisoners who need it.
· Recognize that prisons must have sufficient numbers of appropriately qualified competent health care staff to meet their human rights obligations. To the extent possible, prison staff should also include specialists in addition to psychiatrists, including psychologists, and social workers. Standards of care should not be lowered because those needing medical treatment are prisoners. “Health personnel, particularly physicians, charged with the medical care of prisoners and detainees have a duty to provide them with protection of their physical and mental health and treatment of disease of the same quality and standards as is afforded to those who are not imprisoned or detained.”
· Provide that clinical medical decisions should be governed by medical criteria. International principles of medical ethics require prison medical staff to provide “the best possible health care for those who are incarcerated,” with decisions regarding their care and treatment based on the prisoners’ health needs, which should take priority over any non-medical matters.
· Recommend that proper psychiatric treatment in prison, as in the community, should be based on a treatment plan drawn up for each patient. The plan should consist of more than just medication. It should involve a wide range of rehabilitative and therapeutic activities, including access to occupational therapy, group therapy, individual psychotherapy, art, drama, music, and sports.
· Recognize that patients should have regular access to suitably equipped recreation rooms and have the possibility to take outdoor exercise on a daily basis; it is also desirable for them to be offered education and suitable work.
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
· Establishes the obligation of authorities to ensure prisoners are given medical screening upon admission and provided appropriate medical care and treatment as necessary and free of charge.
Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners
· Establishes prisoners’ entitlement to a quality of health care comparable to that available in the outside community.
Human rights advocates have been successful in exposing and, in many instances, correcting human rights violations in prisons. The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch has documented serious abuses against prisoners with psychosocial disabilities in US prisons. More recently, advocates have focused more specifically on accommodating the needs of prisoners with disabilities and some prison authorities have responded with their own initiatives. For example, the Northern Ireland Prison Service, in addition to appointing a human rights advisor, has adopted a disability action plan and has taken action to improve cell accessibility, modify educational programmes to accommodate prisoners with intellectual and learning disabilities, and address communication needs for prisoners who are deaf and hard of hearing.
European Court of Human Rights Finds
Violations of the Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities
In Keenan v. the United Kingdom (2001), the European Court of Human Rights held, among other things, that the treatment of a prisoner with a psychosocial disability was inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The prisoner was found dead in his cell after he hung himself while in solitary confinement. The Court found deficiencies in his medical care and monitoring of his condition. The Court also found that his placement in segregation and the addition of 28 days to his sentence just nine days before his expected release may have threatened his physical and moral resistance, and in these circumstances, was "not compatible with the standard of treatment required in respect of a mentally ill person." Keenan v. United Kingdom, App. No. 27229/95, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2001).
In Price v. United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights found that the United Kingdom violated the rights of a woman with a disability who had been held in detention. The applicant was a wheelchair user who did not have the use of her limbs. She was sent to prison for one week and alleged that while in custody she was forced to sleep in her wheelchair, could not reach emergency buttons and light switches, and was unable to use the toilet. She was lifted onto a toilet by a female prison officer but was left there for over three hours until she agreed to allow a male nursing officer to assist her. The Court held that these conditions amounted to "degrading treatment contrary to Article 3." Price v. United Kingdom, App. No. 5493/72 Eur. Ct. H.R. (2001).
In Farbtuhs v. Latvia, the European Court of Human Rights held that the continued imprisonment of an elderly prisoner with a disability and intensive support needs and several serious health conditions was inappropriate because his continued detention would cause him permanent anxiety and a sense of inferiority and humiliation so acute as to constitute degrading treatment contrary to Article 3. Farbtuhs v. Latvia, App. No. 4672/02, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2004).
In Huseyin Yildirim v. Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights held that a prisoner with a disability who required extensive support had been subject to “degrading treatment” within the meaning of Article 3. While in a cell, he had been left to the supervision of his cellmates and, while in the prison hospital wing, to the supervision of his brother and two sisters over a period of three years during which he relied on them to feed, wash, dress, and perform other essential functions of everyday life. Huseyin Yildirim v. Turkey, App. No. 2778/02 Eur. Ct. H.R. (2007).
It should also be noted that a separate but related body of law applies during times of armed conflict and is intended to provide protection to civilians. This body of law, referred to as International Humanitarian Law, is set forth in the Geneva Conventions. For example, the Third Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War addresses the protection of prisoners held in detention, including providing for the needs of prisoners with disabilities. The Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War specifies the rights of civilians and those who are not combatants, and makes some reference to persons with disabilities.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE, EXPLOITATION, AND ABUSE
Sexual exploitation and abuse is a widespread phenomenon among persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls, although men and boys with disabilities also experience sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse. Studies indicate that persons with disabilities are disproportionately at risk for violence and that sexual abuse among women with disabilities is significantly higher than the rest of the population. Most instances of abuse go unreported and therefore remain unaddressed. Very often, abuse takes place in a private home dwelling or in an institution, where it is sometimes imagined that persons with disabilities will be free from abuse.
Sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse have long-lasting harmful effects on persons with disabilities, and when such abuses occur in isolated settings, the chances of accessing the assistance needed for recovery may be slim. Moreover, such traumatic experiences may increase disability-related functional limitations or create secondary disabilities. Programmes and services that address sexual violence and abuse in the community, particularly those targeting women and girls, very often do not reach out to persons with disabilities. Disability advocates are working to address these gaps and to ensure that programmes and services are inclusive and accommodating to all. Violence prevention advocacy is an important component of ensuring the right of persons with disabilities to be free from violence and to lead self-determined lives.
The CRPD Committee on Freedom from Exploitation, Violence, and Abuse
In the CRPD Committee’s Concluding Observations on the Report of Tunisia, the Committee stated the following:
The Committee expresses concern at the situation of violence that women and children with disabilities might face.
The Committee encourages the State party to include women and girls with disabilities in the National Strategy for the Prevention of Violence in the Family and Society, and to adopt comprehensive measures for them to have access to immediate protection, shelter and legal aid. It requests the State party to conduct awareness campaigns and develop educational programmes on the greater vulnerability of women and girls with disabilities with respect to violence and abuse.
Source: Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Fifth Session, April 2011, “Concluding Observations Consideration of the Report of the Government of Tunisia” (June 2011), at paras. 26 & 27: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/Session5.aspx
USEFUL RESOURCES ON TORTURE AND OTHER FORMS OF ABUSE AGAINST PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
· Disability Rights International: http://www.mdri.org/
o Contains wide range of reporting on violence and abuses against persons with mental disabilities and other writing on international law in this area.
· European Disability Forum, Report on Violence and Discrimination against Disabled People (1999):
· Human Rights Watch, Ill Equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness (2003): http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/usa1003/
o Detailed report on the human rights of persons with mental disabilities in the US prison system.
· Janet E. Lord, “Shared Understanding or Consensus-Masked Disagreement? The Anti-Torture Framework in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” 33 Loyola J. Int’l & Comp. L. 101 (2011).
o Comprehensive overview of Article 15 of the CRPD.
· Mental Disability Advocacy Center: http://www.mdac.info
o Leading disability rights organization focused on the rights of persons with mental disabilities in Europe
· Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Thematic Study by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on enhancing awareness and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” paras. 50 & 51 (26 January 2009): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/DayGeneralDiscussion21102009.aspx
o Study outlining legal measures required for the ratification and effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
· Marsha Saxton, The Impact of Violence on People with Disabilities, World Institute on Disability (2006): http://www.wid.org/
o Detailed report on violence in US context.
 James C. Harris, Intellectual Disability: Understanding its Causes, Classification, Evaluation and Treatment (Oxford: 2005): pp. 14-16; Gary L. Albrecht et al., eds., Handbook of Disability Studies (Sage Publications, 2001): pp. 15-18.
 Disability Rights International, “Behind Closed Doors: Human Rights Abuses in the Psychiatric Facilities, Orphanages, and Rehabilitation Centers of Turkey,” (Washington, DC, 2005): http://www.mdri.org/projects/turkey/turkey%20%final%209-26-05.pdf
 Disability Rights International, “Ruined Lives: Segregated from Society in Argentina’s Psychiatric Asylums,” (Washington, DC, 2007): http://www.leeds.ac.uk/disability-studies/archiveuk/mdri/MDRI.ARG.ENG.NEW.pdf
 See Janet E. Lord, “Shared Understanding or Consensus-Masked Disagreement? The Anti-Torture Framework in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” 33 Loyola J. Int’l & Comp. L. 101 (2011).
 Human Rights Watch, “Ill Equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness,” (2003): http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/usa1003/.
 Northern Ireland Prison Service Disability Action Plan (July 2007-March 2010): http://www.nio.gov.uk/nio_disability_action_plan_july_2007_-_march_2010.pdf
 See European Disability Forum, Report on Violence and Discrimination against Disabled People (1999): http://cms.horus.be/files/99909/MediaArchive/EDF%2099-5-violence%20and%20discr-EN.pdf