WONCA supports Bill of Rights for Individuals with Mental Illness

WONCA has supported a Bill of Rights produced by the World Psychiatric Association. The Bill of Rights has been supported by the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health and WONCA World Executive.

Bill of Rights for Individuals with Mental Illness

The World Psychiatric Association (WPA), a global organization representing nearly 250,000 psychiatrists, urges ALL Governments to ensure that individuals with mental illness/mental disabilities/mental health problems are not discriminated against based on their mental health status, and are treated as full citizens enjoying all rights on an equal basis with other citizens.

The WPA supports the efforts of the international community as expressed through various international human rights Covenants and Conventions and, more particularly, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The WPA reiterates that persons with mental illness/mental disability/mental health problems have the capacity to hold rights and exercise their rights and should therefore be treated on an equal basis with other citizens. This includes but it is not limited to:

1. Right to accessible and affordable mental and physical healthcare

2. Right to live independently in the community as other citizens

3. Right to work and opportunities to work and protections at work, including affirmative action, as available to other citizens

4. Right to adequate income to meet their basic needs for food, habilitation, clothing and other necessities

5. Right to accessible, integrated, affordable housing

6. Right to training and education as available to other citizens

7. Right to freedom of movement and removal of restrictions on free travel by people with mental illness

8. Right to own, inherit and dispose of property and to be provided adequate support to exercise this right

9. Right to marry, have and adopt children and raise families, with additional support when required

10. Right to determine their future and make their own life choices

11. Right to vote and be elected to public office

12. Right to be recognized as equal before the law as other citizens and the right to full protection of the law

13. Right to be free from cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment

14. Right to confidentiality and privacy

15. Right to participate in the cultural and social life of the community

Correspondence: Dinesh Bhugra CBE, President, World Psychiatric Association