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(Mexico City) – in the local legislature Mexico Washington must urgently reform its civil code and notary public law to provide guardianship options for people with disabilities and older people, more than 100 organizations including Human Rights Watch and experts said today. Letter To Congress.

In 2021, the first chamber of the Supreme Court Government That the guardianship is unconstitutional and discriminates against people with disabilities. In April 2023, Congress abolished guardianship at the national level in a historic reform of Mexico’s National Code of Civil Procedure, granting full legal capacity and authority to all adults supported decision making if they so choose. However, before these rights can be fully realized, states must reform their laws and regulations.

“Many people in Mexico are labeled ‘disabled’ and are unable to enjoy their rights because their state government failed to create a legal framework enabling them to do so,” said Carlos Rios Espinosa, associate disability rights director at Human Rights Watch. “The adoption of a new national civil procedure code is a big step forward, but the lack of necessary state legislation puts all adults at risk, including people with disabilities and older people. States need to act quickly.

All 32 state civil codes and notary public laws, including Mexico City’s, still recognize some people, including disabled people and older people, as incapable of making their own decisions and provide discretion to notaries to determine capacity. For example, if a person with Down syndrome goes to a notary public in Mexico City to register his will, the notary may determine that the person is incapacitated and deny him service. Older people are disproportionately affected by the law because they account for 40.9 percent of people with disabilities in Mexico, despite only being 16 percent of the total population. 2020 census,

But 24 AprilCongress passed unanimously National Civil and Family Procedure Code, which discontinues guardianship and grants full legal capacity and decision-making rights to all persons 18 or older, backed by rules in the State Civil Code. The code aligns Mexico’s national civil and family procedure law with international human rights law and binding decisions of the Supreme Court.

Although the code will not be fully implemented for four years, the Supreme Court’s decision has banned all guardianship systems from 2021. Persistent failure by state legislatures to update laws to comply puts people with disabilities and older people at risk, Human Rights Watch said.

national legislation only deals with procedural aspects of legal capacity; State law addresses the basic elements, such as how to enter into contracts, how to make a will, or how to delegate power of attorney. State legislatures should reform their civil code and notary public law to integrate Human rights based decision making system, This model would ensure respect for the wishes and preferences of those who need support, rather than treating them as having no rights, which was the case under the guardianship system.

In light of differences in state legislation, on 17 May more than 100 national and international civil society organizations, organizations of people with disabilities, and independent experts jointly wrote to Congress urging it to adopt a resolution encouraging all state legislatures to align their civil legislation with the national code. Notably, the Congress of Mexico City had already introduced a Bill To reform your Civil Code and the Notary Public Act, the two main texts that need to be amended to align with the Code.

Mexico confirmed convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in 2007 and Inter-American Convention on the Protection of Human Rights of Older Persons In 2023. Both instruments establish the right to full legal capacity for people with disabilities and older people. Legal capacity is also a fundamental human right enshrined in other major United Nations human rights treaties that bind Mexico, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Are.

Rios Espinosa said, “Human Rights Watch and our partners hope that Congress will heed our letter and appeal to state legislatures to follow suit in protecting the rights of all adults, including people with disabilities and older people. ” “Mexico City already has a proposal that can be used as a model by other state legislatures, which should immediately reform their local legislation so that the right to full legal capacity is a reality for all adults. “

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