BELGRADE, 19 October 2012 – The protection of the rights of institutionalized persons with mental health disabilities was discussed at an OSCE conference that ended today in Belgrade.
The event was organized by the OSCE Mission to Serbia and the Serbian Ombudsman to discuss safeguarding the rights of persons with mental health disabilities, with particular emphasis on those who are placed in psychiatric and social care institutions in Serbia.
“The Serbian Ombudsman considers that holding persons with mental health disabilities in psychiatric hospitals and social care institutions for long periods of time violates basic rights. In this regard the Ombudsman supports the adoption of the law on protection of mental health, which would, I hope, considerably improve the position of this vulnerable group of persons,” said Saša Janković, Serbia’s Ombudsman.
Paula Thiede, the Acting Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, added: “This conference should trigger a dialogue on the important issue of conditions in mental health care institutions. The OSCE Mission is ready to provide all necessary support to complete the drafting process of the law on protection of the rights of persons with mental health disabilities, as well as other relevant legislation.”