Stigma, human rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Bartlett, Peter (2017) Stigma, human rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In: The stigma of mental illness – end of the story? Springer, pp. 209-223. ISBN 978-3-319-27837-7
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) requires that people with disabilities, including those with mental disabilities (be they psychosocial disabilities/mental health problems or learning disabilities), be able to enjoy full human rights without discrimination. This requirement for non-discrimination, coupled with requirements for social inclusion, chime effectively with the aims of the anti-stigma movement. At the same time, the CRPD will introduce tensions with anti-stigma agendas. Its provisions apply only to people who have a disability, creating the risk that people will need to be identified as having a disability to benefit from its provisions, creating the risk of stigma at that point. The CRPD’s fundamental move away from a medical model of disability will also require the development of new social relationships and new ways of thinking by the professionals who have traditionally been important to the anti-stigma movement, creating potential political difficulties for the movement. This paper looks at these synergies and tensions between the Convention provisions and the anti-stigma movement.
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