Based on recommendations of HCA Vanadzor and partners, a special clause was included in 2020-2022 Action Plan of National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights. The clause concerns ensuring the right of persons with mental health and intellectual problems to make decisions in matters concerning themselves. HCA Vanadzor has been addressing this issue for around 10 years.
As per the RA Government’s order N 1030-Լ of 24 June 2021, clause 47.1, inter alia,was added to 2020-2022 Action Plan of National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights. The clause concerns ensuring the right of persons with mental health and intellectual problems to make decisions in matters concerning themselves.
In the frame of protection of persons with mental health problems, for around ten years, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor has been addressing the institute of recognizing persons legally incapacitated as an issue that is not compliant with the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities and is subject to elimination.
The problem is that according to the RA Civil Code, a person may be recognized incapacitated by thus being deprived of the opportunity to exercise their fundamental rights, whereas Article 12 of the Convention sets that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.
Back in 2014, due to the Organization’s efforts, an action concerning the system of recognizing persons as legally incapacitated was involved in the Action Plan of the National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights. However, it did not fully reflect the Organization’s approach to the matter; moreover, effective steps were not taken in terms of reforming the field or introducing the system of decision-making.
On 2 March 2021, HCA Vanadzor, jointly with Open Society Foundations-Armenia and Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, presented a recommendation to the RA Ministry of Justice, which was fully accepted and formulated in clause 47.1.
The Organization welcomes the amendment made during the RA Government’s session of June 24, which clearly formulates introduction of supported decision-making system as an expected immediate result and the opportunity of persons with mental health and intellectual problems to personally make decisions concerning themselves as an expected impact, hoping that the action will be implemented fully, timely and in line with approaches of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.