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Putting an end to coerced sterilisations and castrations

Doc. 13215: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13215 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1Coerced, non-reversible sterilisations and castrations constitute grave violations of human rights and human dignity, and cannot be accepted in Council of Europe member States.
2Defining the element of “coercion” in sterilisations and castrations is not as self-evident as defining “forced” sterilisations and castrations, which historically have involved physical force or procedures performed without the knowledge of the victim or without the opportunity for the victim to provide consent. The concept of “coercion” is currently evolving in human rights law, based on the definition of the lack of free and informed consent. Thus, even where consent is ostensibly given – also in written form –, it can be invalid if the victim has been misinformed, intimidated or manipulated with financial or other incentives. New concepts of “emotionally coerced sterilisation” and “pressure that diminishes a patient’s autonomy” are currently emerging. Some of these concepts go as far as considering as coercion the lack of freedom from any bias introduced, consciously or unconsciously, by health-care providers, and power imbalances in the patient-provider relationship which may impede the exercise of free decision-making, for example by persons who are not accustomed to challenging persons in positions of authority.

25 June 2013

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI

If adopted, amendments 9, 10, 11 falls.

Votes: 17 in favor 47 against 2 abstentions

In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 2.

25 June 2013

Tabled by Sir Edward LEIGH, Mr Robert NEILL, Lord Alexander DUNDEE, Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Mr Attila GRUBER

Falls if amendment 1 is adopted.

Votes: 18 in favor 50 against 0 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 2, replace the words "is not as self-evident as defining 'forced' sterilisations and castrations, which" with the following words: "is important. 'Forced' sterilisations and castrations".

25 June 2013

Tabled by Sir Edward LEIGH, Mr Robert NEILL, Lord Alexander DUNDEE, Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Mr Attila GRUBER

Falls if amendment 1 is adopted.

Votes: 17 in favor 51 against 1 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 2, delete the words "currently evolving in human rights law".

25 June 2013

Tabled by Sir Edward LEIGH, Mr Robert NEILL, Lord Alexander DUNDEE, Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Mr Attila GRUBER

Falls if amendment 1 is adopted.

Votes: 18 in favor 49 against 1 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 2, replace the last two sentences with the following sentence: "However, the choice made by the patient in involuntary placement about his treatment cannot be considered coerced or otherwise involuntary simply because the treatment offers him the possibility of acquiring control over his dangerous behaviour and, consequently, the possibility of being released."

3In the first half of the 20th century, a considerable number of European States – not just Nazi Germany – engaged in often massive forced or coerced eugenic sterilisation and castration programmes, some of whose victims are still alive. Five groups of people were particularly targeted: Roma women, convicted sex offenders, transgender persons, persons with disabilities, and the marginalised, stigmatised, or those considered unable to cope.
4There are very few sterilisations and practically no castrations in Council of Europe member States today and in the most recent past which can clearly be labelled as “forced”: most of these concern persons with disabilities. However, there is a small, but significant number of both sterilisations and castrations which would fall under the various definitions of “coerced”. These are mainly directed against transgender persons, Roma women and convicted sex offenders. Neither forced nor coerced sterilisations or castrations can be legitimated in any way in the 21st century – they must stop.

25 June 2013

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA

Falls if amendment 12 is adopted.

Votes: 18 in favor 50 against 0 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the word "would" with the following word: "could".

25 June 2013

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI

Falls if amendment 12 is adopted.

Votes: 13 in favor 54 against 2 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, delete the words "transgender persons".

25 June 2013

Tabled by Sir Edward LEIGH, Mr Robert NEILL, Lord Alexander DUNDEE, Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Mr Attila GRUBER

If adopted, amendments 2, 3 falls.

Votes: 13 in favor 53 against 2 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the last 3 sentences with the following sentences: "However, sterilisations and castrations which could be considered "coerced" either occur or are possible under some existing laws. In law or in practice, these are mainly directed against or may affect particularly vulnerable groups, such as transgender persons, Roma women or convicted sex offenders. Neither forced nor coerced sterilisations or castrations can be legitimated in any way in the 21st century - they must stop or be prevented."

5The Parliamentary Assembly believes that clear safeguards need to be built up against future abuses, including preventive work to change mentalities: there is a need to fight stereotypes and prejudice against those who appear “different”. There is also a need to fight paternalistic attitudes in the medical profession which facilitate abuse.
6The Assembly also believes that proper redress to victims of coerced sterilisation and castration needs to be ensured, whoever they are, and whenever the abuses occurred. In recent cases, this includes the protection and rehabilitation of victims and the prosecution of offenders. But in all cases, as rare, individual or historic as they may be, official apologies and at least symbolic compensation must also be given.
7The Assembly thus urges the member States of the Council of Europe to:
7.1revise their laws and policies as necessary to ensure that no one can be coerced into sterilisation or castration in any way for any reason;

25 June 2013

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI

Votes: 20 in favor 49 against 0 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7.1, delete the words "in any way for any reason".

25 June 2013

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Mr Latchezar TOSHEV

Votes: 13 in favor 57 against 1 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7.1, after the word "coerced into", insert the following word: "abortion,".

7.2ensure that adequate redress is available to victims of recent (and future) coerced sterilisation or castration, including the protection and rehabilitation of victims, the prosecution of offenders, and financial compensation which is proportionate to the seriousness of the human rights violation suffered;

25 June 2013

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Mr Latchezar TOSHEV

Votes: 13 in favor 55 against 0 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7.2, after the word "coerced", insert the following word : "abortion," .

7.3issue official apologies and offer at least symbolic financial compensation to surviving victims of coerced sterilisation or castration programmes;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7.3, after the word "coerced", insert the following word : "abortion," .

7.4work towards eliminating prejudice, stereotypes, ignorance and paternalistic attitudes which have a negative influence on the capacity of medical providers to provide evidence-based health care respectful of free and informed consent to vulnerable persons, including through awareness-raising and human rights education.

25 June 2013

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI

Votes: 18 in favor 49 against 2 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 7.4, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly recognises the right of Member States to insist on gender reassignment surgery (including where this may necessarily involve sterilisation or castration) as a precondition for permanent legal recognition of a change of sexual identity. In such circumstances where the State is seeking to respond compassionately to a firmly expressed desire to change sex, there can be no presumption of guilt for coercion or requirement for retrospective apology or compensation."

8The Assembly encourages the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to pay attention to the issue of coerced sterilisations and castrations in Council of Europe member States.

25 June 2013

Tabled by Sir Edward LEIGH, Mr Robert NEILL, Lord Alexander DUNDEE, Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Mr Attila GRUBER

Votes: 17 in favor 53 against 1 abstention

In the draft resolution, paragraph 8, replace the word "coerced" with the following words: "free and informed consent to".