MDAC’s 2003 Cage Beds Report


The continuing use of cage beds is, indeed, symptomatic of the wider reforms that are still required in the social care homes and psychiatric institutions of Central and Eastern Europe. These reforms will clearly not come without cost – without considerable investment in the material and human resources of mental health care services. However, the respect for the dignity and most elementary rights of persons with mental disabilities demands these reforms as an urgent priority. Alvaro Gil-Robles, (then) Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his Foreword to MDAC’s 2003 report on the use of cage beds in four Central and Eastern European countries.

In early 2003 and in partnership with local organisations in four then-accession countries to the European Union (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia), MDAC conducted monitoring in psychiatric and social care institutions. Framing the use of cage beds as a human rights violation, the report called for their abolition, along with action to reduce other forms of restraints and seclusion.

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