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20 years of developing European standards. Fieldwork and ongoing dialogue with governments

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In the last two decades the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has been visiting mental hospitals, forensic psychiatric establishments and prison hospitals in all member states of the Council of Europe. Its delegations have paid particular attention to the questions of involuntary placement, compulsory treatment and means of restraint. The Committee has issued recommendations to the governments and developed standards. Success and insufficiencies of an international inspection system in a European setting with different legal provisions and clinical practices, few international standards and research but in a state of development are discussed.

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Correspondence to Veronica Pimenoff.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Pimenoff, V. 20 years of developing European standards. Fieldwork and ongoing dialogue with governments. BMC Psychiatry 7, S120 (2007) doi:10.1186/1471-244X-7-S1-S120

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  • Public Health
  • Clinical Practice
  • Member State
  • European Standard
  • Mental Hospital