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27 October 2014

A legal capacity revolution is possible – if we consider the difficult cases

I have been asked to try and bridge the gap between human rights, governments and service provider communities. Jan asked me to offer some critical reflections about – his words – the 'human rights tribe' – and what they (we) need to do to bring about the legal capacity revolution.
2 May 2014

Meeting Yusuf

In 2010 my colleague Eyong went to Kenya to find out what the top issues for people with disabilities were. There, he met with lots of great NGOs like Users and Survivors of Psychiatry Kenya, and the Kenyan Association of People with Intellectual Handicap. They told him about how people with disabilities were constricted in their lives because their relatives and their community treated them as children, taking decisions for them, in their purported best interests.
23 April 2014

How Northern Ireland can avoid making a big “mental capacity law” mistake

In March Michael Bach and I were in Belfast. We presented our ideas on how Northern Ireland needs to rethink its approach to legal capacity, at a conference organised by Mencap Northern Ireland and the Northern Irish Association for Mental Health.
23 April 2014

Independent living is the UK Government’s responsibility

In an article published in the Guardian newspaper on Monday in the UK, Beverley Angell argues against the closure of an institution where her sister with a disability has lived for 38 years, fearing that some residents will become homeless. In this blog piece, Oliver argues that the UK Government must take responsibility for ensuring independent living for all.
7 April 2014

Uganda’s mental health system and the rule of no law

This is No. 1 in a trio of OliverTalks posts about Butabika hospital, Uganda’s premier psychiatric facility, which Oliver visited with colleagues last Thursday. It lays out how people are admitted and forcibly treated outside the ambit of a law, and how therefore people are unlawfully detained.
18 March 2014

Psychiatry, medication and human rights

The Global Movement for Mental Health could make a bridge between the public health and disability rights worlds. Aligning themselves with disability rights means rethinking views such as “I can cure mental illness therefore it is not a disability.” In the second of a three-part series I discuss how community living with supports has become a human right that should reshape the public mental health landscape. The series is based on a chapter I wrote in ‘Torture in Healthcare Settings: Reflections on the Special Rapporteur on Torture’s 2013 Thematic Report’.
16 October 2013

When will the UN Human Rights Committee focus on disability rights?

The UN represents universality and indivisibility of human rights norms. So why is the UN Human Rights Committee ignoring the human rights of people with disabilities?
3 October 2013

“Psycho drama” – how costumes create human rights abuses

A psycho suit is as unacceptable as selling an “Islamic terrorist” outfit, complete with fake beard and machine gun. Both costumes perpetuate stereotypes. Oliver explains why MDAC has raised corporate sales practices with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg - as a human rights issue.
5 September 2013

The Romanian government killed a young man with disabilities. Will it get away with it on a technicality?

OliverTalks - Our Executive Director explains how the Romanian government is attempting to avoid accountability for the death of Valentin Câmpeanu in a psychiatric institution.
3 September 2013

Why should the United States ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

3 September 2013, Budapest. In his latest post, our Executive Director gives his alternative to Secretary of State John Kerry's speech.


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