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Our 2022 Petition to Canada's House of Commons

Petition to the House of Commons

Enact Article 14 and Rescind Reservations to Article 12 of the CRPD

WHEREAS the United Nations Special Rapporteur and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have recently expressed concern that Canada’s government continues to conduct carceral practices based on disabilities, contrary to Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); and Canada’s government continues to hold reservations against Article 12 of the Convention, which ensures that persons with disabilities have the right to: refuse treatment, not be deemed incapable, and not be subjected to substitute decision-making; and

WHEREAS Canada’s federal government has ratified the CRPD, including article 14 (which guarantees liberty and security of the person), and has claimed in its latest report to the Committee that Canada has met the standards of the CRPD; and

WHEREAS persons with psychosocial and other disabilities continue to be at grave risk of:

  • being detained in facilities, and/or otherwise subjected to limitations on freedom of movement, including the use of physical restraints, chemical restraints, and isolation,

  • being forcibly, coercively, or surreptitiously administered drugs which frequently cause toxic and damaging effects such as reduced mobility and constrained cognition, reducing life expectancy (in the case of “antipsychotics”) and inducing dependency (in the case of “antidepressants” and “anxiolytics”), and notwithstanding that some people take these drugs voluntarily,

  • being given electroshock, which has been proven to cause brain damage resulting in devastating memory loss and cognitive problems,

  • and even being subjected to unwanted tubal ligations in recent years, harkening back to Canada’s shameful eugenics programs; and

WHEREAS the Accessibility Canada Act now promotes the myth that Canadians with psychosocial and other disabilities will be protected through a process that represents them, even as groups led by family members and professionals are tasked with proceeding with the implementation of CRPD-based initiatives, with no public debate on Article 14,

THEREFORE, we, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada (many of us survivors of such abuses, joined by researchers, professionals, family members, and concerned allies), call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to:

Enact Article 14 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and prohibit civil commitments, psychiatric assessments, and all related interventions for psychosocial disabilities, repealing laws and provisions that violate the CRPD by permitting detentions, restraints (shackles), seclusion (solitary confinement), community treatment orders, forced drugging, electroshock, sterilization and similar impositions; and rescind all reservations to Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, repealing laws that authorize “substitute decision-making” related to treatments for psychosocial and other disabilities.

(See how to submit your own petition to the House of Commons).


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