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Guardianship Research for Mental Disability Advocacy Center stage 1 legal analysis results

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More than 75 000 people in St.Petersburg have mental disability ... Starts a new 2-year project in St. Petersburg together with NGO Citizens' Watch ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Guardianship Research for Mental Disability Advocacy Center stage 1 legal analysis results


1
Guardianship Research for Mental Disability
Advocacy Centerstage 1 (legal analysis) results
  • Anna Smorgunova
  • anna_smorgunova_at_yahoo.com

2
Statistics
  • More than 75 000 people in St.Petersburg have
    mental disability
  • 7 mental health hospitals in St. Petersburg with
    5345 available beds
  • 12 psycho-neurological health centers with 600
    available beds
  • In 2003 21,844 people were hospitalized
  • The average duration of treatment in the hospital
    is 55.58 days
  • In 2003 all psychiatric diseases constituted 2.96
    percent of all diseases in St. Petersburg
  • 15 000 people are residents of internats

3
Major problems
  • Limited access to proper medical care (often the
    only option is treatment in the hospital or
    internat) treatment is biological
  • Lack of community services and social programs,
    social needs are ignored, no alternatives for
    hospitalization
  • Lack of information regarding the state of health
  • Unemployment (disability stamp in labor books)
  • Human rights violations
  • Lack of legal representation
  • Guardianship
  • Stigmatization and public silence about mental
    health, almost no user organizations

4
Human Rights Violations
  • Inhuman or degrading treatment in the hospitals
  • Deprivation of liberty/detention
  • Right to vote
  • Right to property
  • Right to family life and to marry
  • Right to associate
  • Right to work

5
Guardianship as one of the most powerful
discrimination mechanisms
  • Guardianship is intended to protect the rights of
    those who lack decision-making capacity
  • In fact used for administrative convenience
  • Most people under guardianship are
    institutionalized in state-run facilities
  • Guardianship in Russia can be established only
    over a person who is declared incapable through a
    court hearing
  • Law states that a citizen who as a result of the
    mental disorder cannot understand the meaning of
    his actions or guide them may be declared by the
    court as incapable.

6
Procedural Aspects
  • The Civil Procedure Code of the Russian
    Federation regulates the procedure for declaring
    a person incapable
  • the judge determines whether there is enough
    evidence about citizens mental disorder ? if yes
    ? decides on setting a psychiatric examination
  • presumption of capability, in reality difficult
    to realize the procedural rights
  • Hearing can be held in the absence of person
    concerned

7
Procedural Aspects 2.
  • Laws regulate
  • the procedure of the competence (psychiatric)
    exam a person can be detained for a period of
    up to 90 days,
  • the rights of the person concerned, and
  • the contents of the report
  • no degrees of incapability although
    Recommendations of the CoE require national
    legislation to have degrees
  • Guardianship is forever

8
Appointment of the Guardian
  • The guardian is selected and appointed by the
    guardianship agency at the residence of the
    person
  • No care plan is required
  • Two categories of guardians allowed by the law
  • individual citizens of the full age (usually
    relatives)
  • medical institutions, social care institutions in
    case the person is placed to these institutions

9
Rights of person under guardianship are limited
  • No rights to
  • Marry
  • Vote
  • Act in any transactions
  • Work (cant sign the contract)
  • Access courts
  • Give consent for institutionalization
  • Make will

10
Monitoring Guardians Actions Termination of
Guardianship
  • Guardianship bodies at the place of residence of
    the person under guardianship are supposed to
    monitor and supervise the guardians the
    procedure is not specified
  • Termination of guardianship is possible if the
    person is declared capable by the court
    (psychiatric examination is necessary)
  • In reality almost no control over guardians
    actions especially in the institutions

11
Some other problems
  • lack of statistical information,
  • insufficient legal regulation of the guardianship
  • i.e. rights and duties of the guardianship
    agencies,
  • procedure for selection of the guardian,
  • monitoring of his actions, etc.
  • most of the CoE recommendations are met only
    partially or are not met at all,
  • no public attention to the issue of guardianship

12
What can be done
  • Research
  • Advocacy
  • Litigation
  • Training
  • Capacity building of human rights organizations
  • Public policy forums
  • Capacity building of people with mental health
    problems
  • Capacity building of students

13
MDAC Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Budapest
  • International non-governmental organization that
    promotes and protects the human rights of people
    with mental health problems and intellectual
    disabilities across Central and Eastern Europe
    and Central Asia
  • Has participatory status at the Council of Europe
    and is a cooperating organization of the
    International Helsinki Federation for Human
    Rights
  • Starts a new 2-year project in St. Petersburg
    together with NGO Citizens Watch

14
MDAC new project - Reintegration of People with
Mental Disabilities in the St. Petersburg Region
  • Mental health law clinic at Herzen University
    legal assistance to people with mental health
    problems
  • Trainings for students, users, guardianship
    agencies
  • Outreach to people with mental disabilities
    Social exclusion BUS-ter
  • BUS-ter a team of students and peer-advocates
    will provide outreach and referral services to
    residents of hospitals and internats
  • Participation in forums
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