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Why are people with mental illness in chains? | The Stream

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world with psychosocial disabilities have been shackled or kept in close confinement at least once in their lives, a new report from Human Rights Watch says.

The New York-based rights group found evidence of shackling in 60 low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Its ‘Living in Chains’ investigation uncovered evidence of people with real or perceived mental health conditions being held in unsanitary and cramped conditions that force them to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in the same space. Individuals are often chained to other people, further denying their privacy. Many of those held are children.

The organisation is now calling for a worldwide ban on the shackling and close confinement of people with mental health disabilities, as well as greater efforts to improve access to medical treatment and support at the primary care level.

In this episode of The Stream we’ll delve into the details of the new Human Rights Watch report and consider what action is needed to combat the practice of shackling vulnerable people with psychosocial disabilities.

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23 comments

  1. Avatar
    Al Jazeera English

    Thank you for watching everyone. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

  2. Avatar

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  3. Avatar

    There are mental patients who tend to be violent, and aggressive, and may hurt themselves or others around them. Patients who have violent or aggressive background should be in chains as precautionary measures. However, the authorities should evaluate the need for shackles, maybe there are better, more civilized ways out there than chaining fellow human beings.

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    Youd have to be crazy not to go mad in this world. Who is to say what is what?

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    Then you should chain the Brainwashed Cult. They suffer from serious Mental Illness.

  6. Avatar

    Trump has gone too far.. now putting the mentally ill in chains

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    christopher st.marin

    Inhumane, torture maybe. Terrible for sure. That being said what on earth can these very poor and sometimes unsophisticated villagers to do? The shackled would likely be killed if they roamed free. The fact they shackle is because they care for tbat person. Otherwise they may be labelled possessed or called witches etc.

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    IS THAT LITTLE GIRL (CHILD..IN THE TOP RIGHT QUADRANT) …REALLY IN JAIL????? Have you been able to get her out and why was she there??

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    These SRA monsters are just evil to the core.

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    It's the only way, now a person if suffering with agoraphobia then why he do not come out of room? He/she don't feel safe out side.

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    Diata DIata International Folkloric Theatre

    Greetings, There needs to be a complete overhaul of the manner in which people suffering from imbalance of their mental faculties are treated. Generally, ignorance of the condition and all its depths is apparent. To add to this, a great cloud of stigma is associated with people who are simply dismissed as crazy. We need to discover the root cause of the trauma that often causes many people to endure the pain and humiliation of mental illnesses. I hope we become more compassionate and caring for our fellow humans. This is a dilemma which affects us all!

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    Queen Unicorn Glitter Flames

    THIS IS DISGUSTING JESUS

  13. Avatar

    Inhumane and should be outlawed. I can't even chain up my dog much less a human being. Shame Shame Shame medicated would be best

  14. Avatar

    You can't compare a criminal and a person who has a mental illness. Plus all your job titles don't mean 💩😂.

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    The only way forward is through peerlead mental health organizations.

  16. Avatar

    ALLAH Hu Akbar
    Jazak ALLAH Khair.

  17. Avatar

    Yeshua Jesus is The ONLY hope . For all life's problems. All ! He breaks All chains .

  18. Avatar

    Very interesting topics about the global mental illness and suffering from the beginning of day one ☝️ and still suffering and the only way eliminate mental illness problems is not enough people care about this issue .

  19. Avatar
    Eugenio Robinson

    Why are MiddleEast countries still living in theocracy?

  20. Avatar

    Bad video

  21. Avatar
    Elizabeth Nadrau

    Why thi now?

  22. Avatar

    Sometimes the patient's family is forced to chain them. mentally ill people who can't be handled have to be chained from time to time. Where there is no mental hospital to provide quality treatment. What will they do? So poor quality healthcare is responsible for all this .

  23. Avatar

    How about this guy in chained? https://youtu.be/MQcL8ldp2Aw

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