NSUN network for mental health is an independent, service-user-led charity that connects people with experience of mental health issues to give us a stronger voice in shaping policy and services.
Concerns for our Human Rights
16 November 2016
The Unated Nations have published a highly critical report which states austerity policies introduced into welfare and social care by the UK government amount to “systematic violations” of the rights of people with disabilities.
The report comes from the United Nations' Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which conducted an inquiry following a formal complaint by UK disability campaigners.
Whilst Disability News Service hailed the report as 'a vindication for activists', the UK government concernedly rejected it. Work and pensions secretary Damien Green even slammed the report for being 'patronising and offensive'...Mr Green went on saying that the UK is in his eyes 'a world leader in disability rights and equality'.
According to Disability People Against Cuts (DPAC), Mr Green demonstrated ' contempt for international law, treaty obligations and diplomatic protocols [...] in leaking the report to a ‘friendly’ newspaper for purposes of party political propaganda with the intention of deflecting criticism'.
Another reason for concerns for our Human Rights is the fact that mental health laws are 'intrinsically discriminatory' as Dr Rachel Perkins said in a presentation to the Disability Rights UK annual conference. Evidence of the discriminatory nature of mental health legislation will be included in the shadow report being compiled by Disability Rights UK.
Challenge the government's position concerning the UN report and support disability rights
You can take action:
Put pressure on the government to implement the recommendations included in the UNCRPD report: sign and circulate this petition
Letter to the ICC at the Hague re mistreatment of the disabled: you can add your name
Support disability rights: visit this site
Challenge services and authorities about your Human Rights
NSUN has been working alongside the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) to raise more awareness of the possibility to challenge services on the basis of Human Rights violations. The work, which included workshops, has led to the production of a toolkit, 'Mental Health, Mental Capacity and Human Rights'
Have you got experience of challenging organisations or authorities about your Human Rights? Did you use the toolkit? Would you consider using it in the future?
Please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Express your views about the Mental Health Act
You can also take the survey to share your views on the Mental Health Act