Monday, April 30, 2012

U.N. Denounces Forced Sterilizations of Mentally Disabled Peruvians

Last year Peruvian authorities reopened an investigation into the alleged clandestine forced sterilizations of some 2000 women during the 1990s. Yet the practice of forced sterilizations in Peru apparently still continues though the victims are not exactly the same as those from two decades ago.

Earlier this month the U.N. expressed its “profound worry” against the Peruvian government for allowing the forced sterilizations of mentally disabled people. According to the U.N. Committee for the Rights of People With Disabilities, individuals sterilized under the program often do so “without free or informed consent.” Therefore, the U.N. urged Peruvian officials to immediately halt this program that is reportedly carried out as a “method of contraception” against individuals with psychiatric issues.

The committee also denounced substandard conditions in Peruvian psychiatric clinics such as the Larco Herrera Hospital in Lima. Patients at these clinics are forced to take medications and some people have been allegedly “institutionalized” in these centers for as long as ten years without receiving proper rehabilitative care according to the U.N.

The below video via Peruvian TV looks at the patients at a psychiatric center in Iquitos as well as the lack of proper medical care for the mentally disabled:

Peru’s Ministry of Health denied the U.N.’s findings and claimed “forced sterilizations are not a medical practice carried out in the country’s psychiatric clinics.” The communiqué issued last week also alleged that the maligned Larco Herrera Hospital is undergoing “a needed refurbishment” and that those patients that have remained there for over a decade have received the proper medical care.

The U.N.’s findings also brought attention to an apparent absence of resources available to Peru’s disabled community such as a lack of rehabilitation clinics for 81% of the disabled. Furthermore, the U.N. claimed that there is not enough awareness to properly detect early signs of deafness in children and that a scan 1.4% of disabled individuals are covered by the state’s social programs.

Video Source – YouTube via cuartopodercanal4tv

Online Sources –, RPP, CNN

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