The World Psychiatric Association’s “Bill of Rights”: a curious contribution to human rights

Lewis, O. and Callard, F. (2017) The World Psychiatric Association’s “Bill of Rights”: a curious contribution to human rights. International Journal of Mental Health, 46(3), pp. 157-167. (doi: 10.1080/00207411.2017.1278963)

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In 2016 the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) published a “Bill of Rights.” This article considers and analyzes what is at stake in a global professional clinical organization developing such a document that purports to support its efforts to tackle the social injustices experienced by people with mental health issues globally. It critically examines the text of the Bill and suggests that, while the document promises serious engagement with human rights (as distinct from ethics), it fails to meet existing international human rights standards. For the WPA to be a present and engaged partner in the implementation of international human rights standards it should not merely encourage governments to take action, but start with inward-facing tasks. These include establishing minimum human rights-based criteria for its own members and holding them to account, so as to nudge psychiatrists towards a human rights-based approach that would benefit people with mental health issues around the world.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Felicity Callard is supported by The Wellcome Trust [103817/Z/14/Z].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Callard, Professor Felicity
Authors: Lewis, O., and Callard, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:International Journal of Mental Health
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1557-9328
Published Online:20 April 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Oliver Lewis and Felicity Callard
First Published:First published in International Journal of Mental Health 46(3): 157-167
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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