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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