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    Croakey – major concern that you are quoting selected individuals and representing it as though this is the view of all persons.

    the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) – article 12, as clarified in General Comment No. 1 makes it very clear that CRPD rights mean that *each* person needs to be facilitated in being able to access support according to their own will and preferences with no undue influence or pressure.

    It also makes it abundantly clear that the so-called ‘medical model’ of social and emotional distress should *not* be forced, reified or used to gate-keep access to decision making support or support to engage fully in participation in life – for psychosocial disability (or issues of social and emotional distress that may be debilitating, temporarily or otherwise).

    Finally, it makes it clear that support should be provided *free from undue influence or pressure* which *includes pressuring persons by making a particular type of support the only kind available* and *depriving other options for support*.

    This does not prevent persons *choosing* to view their experiences of social or emotional distress, irrespective of their severity or duration, through a medicalised lens if persons happen to find that lens particularly helpful. It does, however prevent medical practitioners or others imposing that lens on persons against their will – either by sweet talking funding bodies, governments or commissions into making themselves gate-keepers, by providing ‘education’ by means of misleading and deceptive conduct that misrepresents ideology as a ‘fact’, by directly forcing persons, by falsely representing a ‘mental health diagnosis’ as if it is an actual diagnosis of disease, or by any other means which unduly pressures or influences a person to use this type of support (including by restricting the means to even be able to conceptualise distress in any other way).

    If we proceed with implementing any of the findings of the productivity commission in such a way that is not linked with serious discussions about *full and faithful* implementation of CRPD rights – we will be moving backwards and leaving people with no right (or in some case even no means) to be able to freely explore and understand their own experiences of social and emotional life.

    Not to mention the issues that arise out of the ‘business end’ of forcing medicalised ideology – violently enforcing the indoctrination in persons experiencing severe distress who refuse it, and/or enforcing it by means of non-consensual detention (though non-consensual detention itself could be seen as a form of violence, and typically needs to be enforced by direct physical violence if persons attempt to resist or escape).

    I might point out that in 2013, UN Special Rapporteur for torture Juan Mendez concluded in his annual report that non-consensual psychiatric interventions do indeed meet the definition of torture under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

    The inclusion of ‘peer support’ may well be a boon for the peer support work force and for those who enjoy this type of support. But it is not action on implementing human rights.

    Human rights require persons to have full and free choice.

    The productivity commission report may provide useful information to link into discussions about CRPD rights – but it is imperative that we do start to have discussions about CRPD rights and their implementation, because we are in dire need of
    a) each person understanding what their CRPD rights are (as clarified by general comment No 1, guidelines to article 14, the two UN concluding reports on Australia and other official guiding documentation)
    b) finding out what each person’s exercise of their CRPD rights would mean to *them*

    – CRPD is about diversity, every person is different and at this juncture there has never been an ability for persons with experience of perceived or actual psychosocial disability to discuss what they want in terms of support which honours their CRPD rights. It will vary vastly. We do not have organising bodies to adequately support us in discussing and collecting our diverse needs in a faithful representation that leaves nobody out. Our organising bodies collude with medical interests.

    The medical industry has been furiously undermining CRPD rights – creating straw man arguments based on false dichotomies of force and neglect and fundamentally misunderstanding the scope of General Comment No 1. They also refuse to let go of substituted decision making, forced psychiatry, detention, drugging or ECT.

    They are a powerful guild, but only because the nation allows them to be. There is no reason why they should not resume a fair and reasonable ‘stake’ of being willing to provide *one* of many possible CRPD compliant options available for CRPD support.

    I am getting very tired of Australia treating CRPD as if it is some kind of running joke.

    CRPD is about all persons with disabilities becoming full legal persons. It is not a joke. We are well behind on implementation because it has been regarded as such.


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