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

Lewis, Oliver; Callard, Felicity

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Authors

Oliver Lewis

Felicity Callard



Abstract

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.

Citation

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

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 20, 2017
Publication Date Jul 3, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 3, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 16, 2017
Journal International Journal of Mental Health
Print ISSN 0020-7411
Electronic ISSN 1557-9328
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 3
Pages 157-167
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00207411.2017.1278963

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Copyright Statement
© 2017 Oliver Lewis and Felicity Callard. Published with license by Taylor & Francis This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.





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