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Consultation on identifying strategies to promote human rights in mental health (2017)

The Human Rights Council, in its resolution 36/13, recognised that persons with mental health conditions face widespread discrimination, stigma, prejudice, violence, abuse, social exclusion and segregation. They also endure unlawful or arbitrary institutionalization, overmedicalization and treatment practices that fail to respect their autonomy, will and preferences.

In order to address these violations, the Council held a consultation focused on identifying strategies to promote human rights in mental health. The consultation was open to all interested stakeholders.

Practitioners from all regions presented their practices and shared experiences on how they were moving towards a human rights-based approach to mental health. Participants from the floor also took part, presenting their own practices and good practices.

Key recommendations of the consultation

  • States should abandon the biomedical approach to mental health and embrace a collective process that gives persons with mental health conditions and users or mental health services a leading role in developing the services.
  • States should safeguard users of mental health services, ensuring that all services are based on the free and informed consent of the individual users, and repeal any policies or laws that allow the use of restraints or other forced measures.
  • States should implement people-centred and human rights-based support and services which are community-based, participatory and contextually- and culturally respectful.

Read all the recommendations in the consultation report (A/HRC/39/36), available in the 6 UN official languages.

Background documents of the consultation

High level opening presentations

Presentations of the panellists

Panellists’ bios

Interventions from the floor

Video recording

Video recording of the Consultation on Human Rights and mental health is available in the following links:

Day 1 - morning
Day 1 - afternoon: