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United Nations and Disability Rights

MindFreedom's team in the United Nations worked hard for years with activists from all over the world to create a treaty on disability and human rights.

News Item United Nations Disability Convention Ratified
A United Nations treaty -- or "convention" -- on disability has been ratified by enough nations. It went into effect on 3 May 2008 and is now legally binding internationally. MindFreedom psychiatric survivor activists worked for years with hundreds of other advocates to achieve this victory.
News Item Advocates Celebrate International Disabled Persons Day by Launching Treaty Ratification Campaign
MindFreedom International had a team led by board president Celia Brown inside the United Nations for several years working with disability groups from all over the world. The result: A United Nations treaty on disability rights. But now that treaty needs to be ratified by nations all over the world. Disability activists have created a campaign to win that ratification.
Article UN celebrates and so should we
The Toronto Star covered the United Nations celebration of the launch of a binding international treaty for human rights and disability. Pictured plyaing the harp at the event was Myra Kovary, a long-time activist member of both MindFreedom's United Nations team and World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.
Image Myra Kovary playing harp at United Nations celebration
From Toronto Star: Myra Kovary is a member of both MindFreedom International's UN team and World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Myra is pictured here playing the harp at the celebration of the launch of the international binding treaty by the United Nations for human rights and disability.
Image Myra Kovary Plays the Harp at the United Nations
Myra Kovary, a member of MindFreedom International's UN team and the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, is shown here playing the harp at a United Nations event in 2008.
Image Celia Brown with Other MindFreedom Activists at the United Nations
MFI Board President Celia Brown (sixth from left) stands with other MFI activists at the United Nations in 2008.
Page United Nations Disability Convention Article 12
Article 12 in the new United Nations Disability Convention is considered a significant step toward establishing the human rights of those who have been discriminated against because of mental disability label, such as through forced psychiatric procedures. Here is the text of Article 12.
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Chuck Hughes is a psychiatric survivor activist from Santa Barbara, California.

"I find inspiration and mental support in MindFreedom," says Chuck. "I like associating with like-minded activists for human rights in mental health. When I go into a Board or Commission and say I am a member of MindFreedom International. It gives what I say a lot more validity and my voice carries a lot farther. My first of eight involuntarily institutionalizations was at age 23. I have witnessed much injustice in mental health. I have been involved with the user and survivor movement since 1992. My goal is to help stop forced outpatient psychiatric procedures, seclusion, restraints and other human rights violations, psychiatric abuse and torture. Of particular concern is the elimination of forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) on people of all ages."
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