Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Interesting dialogues and many compliments
31 maart 2015
Interesting dialogues and many compliments
This morning, I arrived slightly after 10 AM at Palais Wilson, and I decide not to join the public session on Croatia, but I wanted to do some work (such as finishing yesterdays report), so I sat down in the cafeteria of Palais Wilson. There I met Steven Allen from MDAC, and we had a very nice conversation on advocacy on the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities. We were on the same page. Then I started to do some work on my laptop, such as making an overview of information from my presentation at the side-event, which can be spread to the Committee members.
At lunchtime I was still sitting working in the cafeteria, and then Mr. Hyung Shik Kim, a CRPD Committee member, asked if he could join me, and of course I said yes. He asked about what was being done on awareness raising in the field of mental health care, and I talked about my activities : public campaigning, involvement in projects to reduce coercion in mental health care, developing an alternative model for supported decision making to avoid forced psychiatric interventions (based on Family Group Conferencing). It was a pleasant informal meeting.
Then, still during lunch, I very briefly spoke to Shantha Rau Barriga from Human Rights Watch, about their projects on persons with psychosocial disabilities in prison. After 10 minutes Shantha had another meeting, so it was very short, but also very interesting.
And then joined the table of An-Sofie Leenknecht and Catherine Naughton from the European Disability Forum (EDF) to discuss on the preparation for the EDF side event on the European Union, where I will also speak about the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities on behalf of the European Network of (Ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (www.enusp.org). We agreed on the substance, and I will prepare my presentation. Tomorrow afternoon we will have a preparatory meeting with the EDF members and delegates, to balance and harmonize the contributions of various speakers in the side event. And although I had planned to do that today, I still haven’t found the time to finish the draft, because I was busy meeting people and discussing strategies (especially on how to address article 5.1.e of the European Convention on Human Rights and other discriminatory directives of the Council of Europe, which influence the practices in the European Union, but are technically not directly within the competence of the EU. Yet it is a major barrier for our human rights in the EU, so it should be addressed and solved one way or another). This is a real challenge.
After lunch I decided to join the public session on the Czech Republic, where I hoped to be able to do some of my own work as well, but apart from sending a few emails I didn’t get a lot done. The CRPD Committee members raised firm questions on the use of caged beds in Czech psychiatry, and asked clearly and explicitly for a total repeal of this practice. That was very positive.
In the evening, Tina Minkowitz, Hege Orefellen (both WNUSP), Steven Allen (MDAC) and Branka Meic (Ombudsperson in Croatia) and I went to have a Vietnamese dinner together. That was very nice and cosy. Around 10 PM we all went back to our hotels at different places. I wanted to have a coffee before starting on my blog, but then I met 2 nice Englishmen, who had been repairing the elevators at the UN building, and we got into a nice chat. At 12 at night the hotelbar closed, and then I finally went to my room. Now it’s past 1 at night, and I know I should get some sleep. So today I will not finish the more detailed report of the WNUSP side event (and also we are still waiting for the video of the side event to be posted in the webcast archives, so it makes sense to postpone that report a bit, to be able to include a link to the video). So that report will hopefully come soon, but not today.
It has been a great day. Quite some CRPD Committee members approached me today to give their compliments on my presentation at the WNUSP side event yesterday. That really makes me feel wonderful. Diane Kingston (CRPD Committee member) also sent me a nice picture that she took of me during the WNUSP side event. I am so happy with all the positive responses to the side event. That is really giving a boost. The recognition of our painful issues means so incredibly much. The CRPD Committee clearly shows understanding of the injustices that are happening to so many persons with psychosocial disabilities. It is such a relief to be understood, in contrast with the struggles at the national level. It is always a real pleasure to be at the CRPD Committee, and to feel we are not alone. So yes, I am having a good time, and I am becoming inspired and loaded with positive energy again. It is good to be here. I feel the glow again. It is lovely! :)
Foto's bij verslag (1)
1 april 2015 13:59 | Door: Constantijn
Great story! Keep up the good work!
Groeten uit Eindhoven....