• There are one billion people with disabilities in the world, many of whom struggle for even their basic rights and remain invisible, abused and neglected in their communities. Many people with disabilities – physical, sensory, intellectual or psychosocial - live in poverty, lack access to health care or education, suffer physical or sexual violence, or languish in horrific institutions for years. We are working to change that. By documenting abuses against people with disabilities around the world, in close partnership with disabled peoples’ organizations and other NGOs, our research and advocacy has begun to raise awareness, strengthen monitoring and push for change. Download the complete brochure

  • A resident sits on the floor in the women’s ward of Thane Mental Hospital, a 1,857-bed facility in the suburbs of Mumbai.
    (New York) – All governments should ensure that women and girls with disabilities are included in gender-based violence prevention and response programs, Human Rights Watch said today. Ahead of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2015, Human Rights Watch has published a resource on gender-based violence designed for people with disabilities.

Reports

Disability Rights

  • Mar 25, 2015
  • Mar 20, 2015
    The Afghan government should investigate the failure of police in Kabul to prevent a mob from beating to death a woman with a reported psychosocial disability.
  • Mar 19, 2015
    This submission highlights areas of concern that Human Rights Watch hopes will inform the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s consideration of the Croatian government’s compliance with International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This submission discusses the violations of the rights of people with disabilities, inadequate safeguards for unaccompanied migrant children, the human rights of minorities, and accountability for war crimes.
  • Mar 5, 2015
    (New York) – All governments should ensure that women and girls with disabilities are included in gender-based violence prevention and response programs, Human Rights Watch said today. Ahead of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2015, Human Rights Watch has published a resource on gender-based violence designed for people with disabilities.
  • Jan 20, 2015
    We write in advance of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women’s upcoming review of Ecuador to highlight areas of concern regarding the Ecuadoran government’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This submission is based on the Human Rights Watch report on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Ecuador published in 2013, “Rape Victims as Criminals: Illegal Abortion After Rape in Ecuador” (Annex 1) and is focused on violations of the right to health, which are inconsistent with Article 12 of the Convention.
  • Dec 14, 2014
    Women with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities are vulnerable to abuse and they have little say in what happens to them in institutions in India. To add to that, state institutions are often overcrowded, the sanitation and hygiene dismal, access to treatment and counselling poor, and rehabilitation efforts non-existent.For more than 70 million people with psychosocial disabilities — mental health conditions such as schizophrenia or depression — who live in India, access to mental health services is poor, with only 43 state-run mental hospitals across the country, three psychiatrists and 0.47 psychologists per million people. The few voluntary community-based services that do exist are short-staffed and lack resources.
  • Dec 3, 2014
    (New Delhi) – Women and girls with disabilities in India are forced into mental hospitals and institutions, where they face unsanitary conditions, risk physical and sexual violence, and experience involuntary treatment, including electroshock therapy,Human Rights Watch said today. As one woman put it, they are “treated worse than animals.”
  • Dec 3, 2014
    In India, many women and girls with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are locked up in institutions against their will. Some of the institutions for those women, who have disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy to schizophrenia and depression, are filthy and overcrowded. Human Rights Watch’s Kriti Sharma spoke with Amy Braunschweiger about the 24 institutions she and other researchers visited across four Indian states – including government mental hospitals and government and private residential care facilities – for the new report, “’Treated Worse than Animals.’“ This is what they found.
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Nov 4, 2014
    We drove up a narrow, winding road, with trees on both sides for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, at the top of the hill, there it was: a three-building complex with a sign on the gate that read “Psihijatrijska bolnica Lopača” (Psychiatric Hospital “Lopača”).