Alternatives to Institutionalization: The Right of Persons with Disabilities 1

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Alternatives to Institutionalization:

The Right of Persons with Disabilities to Live in the Community

Shoba Raja

11 December 2007

OHCHR

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This Presentation will…….

Explore Key Concepts

Brief Review- Recap of Situations to establish needs and rights

Review Alternatives

– What is possible through a case study of BasicNeeds

Points to think about…..

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Two Key Concepts

associated ideas

Institutionalize

to place in a special location/house, lonely isolated but cannot live independently, lose individuality and ability to cope with life

Community -

Group of people, socially interdependent, participate together, relationships, share practices, collective action

experientially

– almost opposites

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In the context of Human Rights and

Disability..…..

Current Situation :

 in Institutions

 in Communities

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INSTITUTIONS

Experience…….

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Degrading treatment

Neglect and lack of care

Inhuman conditions

Stripped of Dignity

INDISPUTABLE NEED FOR ALTERNATIVE

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COMMUNITIES

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Experience for majority…..

Neglect

Rejection

No access to treatment

Poverty

Stressed families

Ridicule, Taunts

Destitution

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Community as an alternative….

Is it possible?

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Case Study …..

BasicNeeds

An International Organization

BasicNeeds

Founded in 1999 by Chris Underhill

UK

Head Office

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Colombia

Map

Laos PDR

Ghana

Uganda

Tanzania

India

Kenya

Sri Lanka

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Model

Mental Health & Development

Management

& Administration

Research &

Policy

Capacity

Building

Community

Mental

Health

Sustainable Livelihoods

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Capacity Building

Breaking the silence of mental illness in communities

Community Mental Health

Ensuring treatment for mentally ill people with the active involvement of their families, communities…..

….and using local resources, government facilities

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Sustainable Livelihoods

Supporting practical projects that help mentally ill people to realise their potentials and contribute to their communities

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Research & Policy

Generate Evidence for influencing policy. Evidence which has

viewpoint of users

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Management & Administration

To ensure our work is efficient and professional and……

satisfies the needs of mentally ill people, their families

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Acceptance

How we work

Talk to community

(Capacity Building)

Treatment

Community

Livelihoods

Self

Help

Groups

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BasicNeeds Results

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BasicNeeds Results

3/4

People treated now productive members of their communities

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BasicNeeds Results

1\3

of

caregivers

now able to earn income

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BasicNeeds Results

Self-help groups District Associations National Association

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Some Key Conventions/Resolutions

Declaration of Human Rights

Convention against torture, Cruel, Inhuman or

Degrading Treatment

Convention on Rights of persons with disabilities

Resolution on The Protection of Persons with Mental

Illness and Improvement of their Mental health

Yet why does neglect, abuse, torture, humiliation continue to happen?

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To think about…..

Approx. only 22% of mentally ill people remain chronically disabled. Majority are able to quickly mainstream

Few community mental health aspects in government policy and budgets

Where government policy/programme exists

– no or ineffective implementation

Poor quality of services

– personnel shortages, shortages of medicines, lack of training

Inadequate budget

Misconception and stigma

Excluded from poverty programmes

– even from MDGs

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