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End to Institutional Living, Implement Right to Live in the Community

(Brussels) – Serbia’s government should collect and make public the data on Covid-19 infections and deaths inside institutions for people with disabilities, six organizations for people with disabilities and human rights groups said today in a letter…
A room in the Sremčica Home for children and adults with disabilities where 292 persons, including 49 children, with disabilities live. Up to 10 people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch

Ensure Equal Access to Treatment; Invest in Community-Based Support

(Brussels) – Ghana’s Accra Psychiatric Hospital has confirmed that a patient has tested positive for Covid-19, causing concern about protection for other patients and staff, Human Rights Watch said today. The infected woman was admitted to the…
The dormitory in the men’s forensic ward of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in Ghana. The dormitory has since been refurbished.

Enforce Ban on Chaining and Provide Community-Based Services

(Accra) – Faith-based and traditional healing centers in Ghana continue to hold people with real or perceived mental health conditions – psychosocial disabilities – in chains in inhumane conditions despite a 2017 ban on such treatment, Human Rights Watch…
In one traditional healing center, Human Rights Watch found 16 men in a dark, stifling room, all of them with short chains, no longer than half a meter, around their ankles. They called out: “We are suffering here. They are abusing our human rights. Pleas

Monitoring, Community Mental Health Services Needed to End Abuse

(London) – Hundreds of people with real or perceived mental health conditions remain chained or confined in prayer camps in Ghana, despite some progress, one year after the government pledged to enforce a ban on shackling, Human Rights…
Men sitting on beds and on the floor in a crowded room

Minister of Finance Should Establish Levy for Mental Health

(Accra) – The government of Ghana should ensure adequate funding for mental health services in Ghana, as a crucial step to eliminating the widespread practice of shackling and other abuses against people with psychosocial disabilities,…
A man sits on the ground in shadow

Invest in Voluntary Mental Health Services and Support in Communities

(Accra, July 7, 2017) – The Mental Health Authority of Ghana has taken steps to release 16 people, including two girls, held in shackles at Nyakumasi Prayer Camp, a spiritual healing center in the Central Region. Those freed, some of whom have mental…
This girl was among 16 people with real or perceived mental health conditions released from shackles in Nyakumasi Prayer Camp, in Central Region, Ghana, on June 30, 2017

Government Should Invest in Community-Based Services

(Belgrade) – Hundreds of Serbian children with disabilities face neglect and isolation in institutions that may lead to stunted intellectual, emotional, and physical development, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Serbian government…
A room in the ward for the “most severely disabled” in Veternik home for children and adults with disabilities. Children are placed in the same rooms as adults and up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch

New UN Report Describes Mistreatment of People with Disabilities

(Geneva) – The government of Ghana should ensure that its newly formed Mental Health Authority closely monitors all mental health facilities to end the widespread mistreatment of people with mental disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today.    The…

UN Visit Highlights Abuses of People with Mental Disabilities

(Nairobi) – The recent visit to Ghana by the United Nations expert on torture highlights the need to end abuses against people with mental disabilities. The government of Ghana should take steps to implement the 2012 Mental Health Act before the end of…

Take Steps to Improve Plight of Mentally Disabled

People with mental disabilities suffer severe abuses in psychiatric institutions and spiritual healing centers in Ghana, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Ghanaian government has done little to combat such abuse or to ensure that…

People With Mental Disabilities Need Protection, Community-based Programs

(Nairobi) – The announcement by the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs on August 21, 2012, of Ghana’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities affirmed Ghana’s commitment to respect the human rights of…

Major Gap Between Treatment and European Aspirations

(Brussels) - Efforts toward European integration for the Western Balkans are hampered by persistent human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today. In its World Report 2011, Human Rights Watch documents human rights concerns in Bosnia and…