Euroopa Puuetega Inimeste Foorum viib läbi kampaaniat, mis kutsub üles keelustama sundsteriliseerimist ja soovib muuta reaalsuseks õigust iseseisvale elule kogu Euroopa Liidus. 2022. aasta septembris avaldati aruanne sundsteriliseerimise kohta EL-is, aruandega saab tutvuda siin: a report on forced sterilisation in the EU.
Altpoolt leiate lisaks viie uuringu kokkuvõtted ja lingid, mis illustreerivad, miks peab EL sundsteriliseerimise lõpetama. Uuringud on inglise keeles. Olete oodatud ka nendega tutvuma!
Euronews released five reports investigating forced sterilisation in the EU
Forced sterilisation of persons with disabilities is a practice banned by international treaties including the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, as it is represents a gross violation of their fundamental rights, the rights to dignity, physical integrity, privacy and free and informed consent.
Despite this, it is still legal in several EU countries. Only 9 Member States explicitly criminalise the practice, while at least 13 countries still allow some form of forced sterilisation in their legislation.
The European Disability Forum is carrying out a campaign calling to ban forced sterilisation and for the right to independent living to become a reality across the European Union. In September 2022, we published a report on forced sterilisation in the EU: we invite you to consult it for more data on this gross human rights violation.
Currently, Euronews is publishing a series of reports looking at the horrors of forced sterilisation. Below you can find the summaries and links to the five investigations, that illustrate why the EU must end forced sterilisation.
"I see the scar and I want to die": Why the EU allows sterilisation of women with disabilities
"I asked myself: 'What have they done with my life? Am I useless? Can everyone be a mother except me? Since then, I feel empty every day of my life"
Despite contravening the Istanbul Convention, forced sterilisation is legal in much of the European Union. Only Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Poland and Spain criminalise the practice.
In Spain, where forced sterilisation was outlawed only 2 years ago, Rosario Ruiz, 53, was forced to be sterilised by her parents when she was 20 years old. "I asked myself: 'What have they done with my life? Am I useless? Can everyone be a mother except me? Since then, I feel empty every day of my life".
In July, the European Parliament will debate whether to outlaw the practice - a decision that would be binding for all Member States, but that has to be later voted on by the European Council. The decision may encounter the opposition of some Member States.
The issue of forced sterilisation is still a taboo in Europe, therefore there are no official figures that could shed light on it. Despite the lack of data, it is clear to organisations that this abuse is mostly suffered by women.
The consent dilemma: France is struggling to end forced sterilisation
"It’s the Institution that gives the pill to women. It is prescribed by a psychiatrist, not even a specialised doctor. They give the same pill to all of them without a gynecological examination"
In a small gynaecological clinic in Paris, Béatrice Idiard-Chamois, a midwife, welcomes a new patient.
In more than 100 cases that she has dealt with, the women who were living in institutions were taking some form of contraceptive treatment.
Idiard-Chamois started the only clinic in France specifically for women with disabilities at L'Institut Mutualiste Montsouris in Paris in 2015. Since then, she has seen more than 700 patients and received half a dozen sterilisation requests for people with disabilities living under a guardianship, "mostly from their parents", she stressed. She always tries to dissuade them and offer "less violent and permanent" alternatives.
Is it possible to ensure consent?
Hungary forces contraception on women with disabilities as "a rule"
"Forced contraception is the rule. It is not written in the contract interns sign, but there’s a verbal agreement. If not you will not be admitted"
Inside the institution’s grey walls, Tibor and Piroska have been living together for 23 years in a small room. This is one of the few places in Hungary which lets couples with disabilities share a room.
“If we didn't live here we would have thought about having children, but in an institution it's not possible because a child needs security”, says Tibor.
“It is just strange that in institutions where 200 or 300 people with disabilities are living, there are no pregnancies at all”, says Sándor Gurbai, spokesperson of Validity Foundation. “Forced contraception is the rule. It is not written in the contract interns sign, but there’s a verbal agreement. If not you will not be admitted”, he adds.
“Judges are the ones analysing whether the person would be able to raise the child and whether their child would be disabled and they decide on their behalf, which is obviously really prejudicial,” says Catherine Naughton, director of EDF.
Why did Sweden sterilise up to 30,000 people against their will in the cause of eugenics?
“They wanted to get rid of a certain type of people: The weaker ones”
Kjell Sundstedt and his cousin Karina were sterilised in Sweden.
Sweden set up a eugenics plan, grounded in the science of racial biology, between 1934 and 1976. The first country in Europe to later abolish forced sterilisation was carrying out a policy under which between 20,000 and 33,000 Swedes were forced to be sterilised.
“They wanted to get rid of a certain type of people: The weaker ones”, says Sundstedt.
Maija Runcis, a professor in history at the University of Stockholm, used to work in the State archives when she noticed an area that was locked off and not accessible to the public. Within it, there were thousands of authorisation papers for sterilisations.
This was the first crack in the beautiful picture of the Swedish welfare state, as the historian describes it.
The "double discrimination" of being a mother with a disability
"If a mother forgets a dose of milk, they will tell her it is normal, [...] But if I forget, they will blame it on my disability."
Marie Rabatel is an autistic women living with her family in Saint André le Gaz, France.
Marie always felt that when she faced motherhood issues, she also had to deal with double discrimination: "If a mother forgets a dose of milk, they will tell her it is normal, [...] But if I forget, they will blame it on my disability."
What is important, she says, is to instead provide the necessary parenting support to parents with disabilities. "I had the courage to ask for help without fear that my child could be taken away from me, and I was able to benefit from regular visits from social services and appointments with the paediatrician, as well as my family and friends who came very often to help me."
Take action against forced sterilisation!
For more information, consult our campaign page on Forced Sterilisation in the European Union and read our report from September 2022, where we provide details on the international framework, the status of forced sterilisation in each EU Member State and good practices to put an end to it.
Sign the petition to end forced sterilisation in the EU now!
Editor: Giulia D'Agnolo and André Felix
Contributors: Marine Uldry | Samaneh Shabani
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