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Robinah Speaks Out at HLMDD

September 25, 2013

Robinah has been featured on DRF SPEAKOUT webpage:

robinah2222222222The Door to Development is currently locked for us. We urge that in setting the post-2015 Development agendas, those doors be open through repeal of mental health legislation; and our inclusion in other legislation’s as full members of society without any discrimination, so that we can participate on equal basis with others in accessing all our human rights, social, economic, civil, and political, within communities.

The challenge remains to ensure that people with psychosocial disabilities benefit from an approach in post 2015 development framework that takes measures to ensure our full inclusion.

A new vision requires the end to discriminatory legal and attitudinal barriers and human rights violations, particularly within institutions, which are perpetuated by legal provisions of ‘incapacity’ worldwide. International communities must come together to resolve that they will dismantle existing barriers and create no other barriers in the future, for our inclusion.

The existing mental health norms and etiquettes are framed in a way that is diametrically opposed to our knowledge, experience and values. Poverty, war, social and identity status, crime, and various forms of cruel oppressions, impact on global mental health and make human beings miserable. Mental health is a broad concept that is intrinsically linked to the respect of human rights and dignity. Ignoring this denies our common humanity.

Relying only on western medical definitions and treatments that seek to transform us within this specific conversation, risks our full inclusion and mainstreaming into a post 2015 development framework. We will be left behind if the exclusionary practices of gate keeping by mental health professionals define our existence.The truth about such practices is they support state-sanctioned violence to our person, including non-consensual drugging and electroshock, solitary confinement, and other restraints, and labels that harm and traumatize us. This is the very opposite of care. Such practices create barriers preventing us from making choices with respect to our own lives, well being, health care and accessing other human rights. Such practices maintain us as objects of cure, charity, and tokenism.

The post 2015 MDG Framework must be grounded in human rights based approach. All international development action in relation to psychosocial disability, must be based on and be compliant with the provisions in the Convention on the Rights with People with Disabilities. People with psychosocial disabilities and our organisations must lead the way at every stage of the design and delivery of support services.


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One Comment
  1. Phillip Marc Fabre permalink

    Well said.

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