Abuse & Violations

A variety of psychiatric measures are particularly prone to unintentional or intentional abuse. Unintentional abuse often takes place due to a lack of knowledge of those committing the abuse. Intentional abuse is the explicit use of psychiatric means for other purposes. The widespread use of a system of guardianship, where persons with psychiatric needs enjoy only limited rights, is one of such abuses if used by others for their advantage. 

In authoritarian systems, the use of psychiatric diagnosis to silence human rights defenders, activists and those who dare to raise their voices against the government or members of the repressive regimes is resurging. Such diagnosis allows repressive governments to eliminate opposition without being publicly targeted as perpetrators of human rights violations. Invented in the former Soviet Union, and thought to have largely disappeared, it is now back on the agenda, in particular in Russia and China. Documenting and exposing such abuse is at the root of the FGIP, and has ever since been part of our priorities. 

FGIP will continue to advocate for the plights and pleas of the victims of psychiatric abuse, both with international and regional human rights mechanisms, but in particular with global and regional psychiatric associations and their members. Together with the Andrei Sakharov Center for Democratic Development in Lithuania, we will maintain a list of victims that is constantly updated,  document their cases for the use of advocacy, and organize campaigns to call on the psychiatric profession to withdraw from such practices. 

Where necessary, the FGIP will provide its member organizations with the necessary means to engage with relevant authorities and partners in their countries to reform the existing guardianship system.