In honor of Human Rights Day, December 10th, the World Health Organization is launching a Quality Rights project. Voice of America reported on the matter in a story bearing the headline, WHO: Poor Treatment of Mentally Ill Violates Their Human Rights.
The World Health Organization calls the abusive conditions endured by people with mental health conditions a hidden human rights emergency. WHO reports that all over the world people with mental and psychosocial disabilities are subject to a wide range of human rights violations, stigma and discrimination.
Just to clarify, when we speak of human rights violations we are speaking of treating people like animals or worse.
As Michelle Funk, the WHO Policy Coordinator, puts it.
For example, people can be overmedicated to keep them docile and easy to manage,” she said. “They can be locked in cells or restrained for days and months without food and water, without any human contact and leaving people to urinate and defecate in the very places where they are sleeping. And, what makes these abuses even more shocking is that they are happening at the very hands of the health workers who are meant to provide care, treatment and support.”
The situation where such human rights abuses are taking place is not a good one, and where it can easily be ignored, it’s not getting any better.
She says several countries already are implementing these programs. They include Spain, Panama and Greece and India.
She didn’t say anything about where the USA, the UK, and Australia stand on this matter, at least, not in this article anyway. It is up to the citizens of these countries to put human rights concerns back in the forefront of policy decisions and considerations where they belong. They can do so by encouraging their local representatives to implement Quality Rights programs in their home communities.