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Ombudsperson’s Report with Recommendations relating to State’s positive obligations concerning mandatory psychiatric treatment

With the aim of recording some of shortcomings of institutional actions regarding measures to be undertaken on implementation of the right on mandatory psychiatric treatment, for mentally disordered persons, the Ombudsperson has forwarded today to the responsible authorities the Report with Recommendations, relating to positive obligations which derive from Article 29 and Article 31, paragraph 2, of the Constitution of  Republic of Kosovo as well as from Article 5 of the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The Report is based on the individual complaint received by Ombudsperson Institution (OI), against the Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in Prishtina, relating to the claims for failure to implement the decision of Basic Court in Gjakova (, on mandatory psychiatric treatment in custody.

Based on all evidences presented and facts gathered, as well as based on relevant laws, which determine the right to private and family life, as well as the right to health, the Ombudsperson finds that the complainant’s complaint is reasonable and lawful and that in the concrete case violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has occured.

In his Report the Ombudsperson ascertains that the responsible authorities, which according to legislation in force are given the powers and are under the obligation to undertake positive obligations, related to the case have failed to undertake concrete actions and have not implemented positive obligations to undertake proper actions in respect of mandatory psychiatric treatment until the ability to act is taken from the person with mental disorders, by preventing the exert of domestic violence against third persons.

Furthermore, Report ascertains that the responsible authorities have not conducted necessary researches on the ground and do not have an accurate number and necessary statistics for persons who need mandatory psychiatric treatment, the same as there were no measures undertaken to place them in specific places, in which depending on their health needs they will receive necessary health treatment. Thus the Ombudsperson recommends that the Ministry of Health, in conformity with powers and legal authorisations and in cooperation with other authorities responsible, to undertake measures on creation of a database, through which the medical treatment of these persons could be followed.

On the other hand, the Ombudsperson recommends to the Mental Health Institutions, that in conformity with powers and legal authorisations and in cooperation with other responsible institutions, to undertake necessary measures on the ground so that persons with mental disorders with preconditions to cause physical violence and property damage are removed from the public, and be treated with humanity and respect, in compliance with international standards applicable for mentally disordered persons in Mental Health Institutions, until they become harmless to environment and society.

Entrance of the Law on Mental Health No. 05/L-025 at force, is considered that will influence on improvement of this situation, specifically after following sub-legal acts are drafted. Anyway, the Ombudsperson recommends establishment of Mental Health Professional Council as well as functionalization of multidisciplinary teams immediately and without delays in order to protect mental health of these persons, maximally trying to integrate these persons and re-socialise them in family and society, as harmless persons, on the contrary (when rehabilitation treatment is unsuccessful or mental illness is incurable), not to exclude the possibility of a request to remove the ability to act and their placement in relevant institutions in conformity with legislation in force.

Report with Recommendations relating to State’s positive obligations regarding mandatory psychiatric treatment in its full form, can be found on OI official web page and is distributed to the media as well.

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