Indigenous Rights Movement: Is the Same Needed to Prevent Continued Human Rights Violations of the Mentally Ill

Liesel LeCates


A problem that transcends borders, the suffering of the mentally ill is exaggerated through common treatment techniques such as chaining to beds and solitary confinement. Known as “society’s lepers,” the mentally ill experience abuses as the consequence of cross-cultural social stigma. Some scholars have proposed the necessity of an international convention to further obligate states to protect the interest of the mentally ill; however, this alone is insufficient .The root of social stigma must be degraded prior to the successful implementation of mental health legislation. In order to decrease stigma and the injustice inflicted upon the mentally ill, a global social movement is necessary. Through a comparison of the indigenous rights movement, the potential to effectuate change through a social movement is addressed. As a movement progresses, potential outcomes will impact not only those suffering from mental illness, but society as a whole.


Global, Mental Health, Indigenous Rights, Social Movement, International law

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ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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