All over the world, people with mental and psychosocial disabilities experience a wide range of human rights violations, stigma and discrimination. The care available in mental health facilities around the world is not only of poor quality but in many instances hinders recovery. Training of staff is minimal and outdated, and the level of knowledge and understanding of the rights of people with mental disabilities is very poor. It is common for people to be locked away in small, prison-like cells with no human contact or to be chained to their beds, unable to move. Inhuman and degrading treatment is common, and people in facilities are often stripped of their dignity and treated with contempt.

Violations are not restricted to inpatient and residential facilities; many people seeking care from outpatient and community care services are disempowered and also experience extensive restrictions to their basic human rights. In the wider community, people with mental disabilities are denied many basic rights that most people take for granted. For example, they are denied opportunities to live where they choose, marry, have families, attend school and seek employment. There is a commonly held, yet false, assumption that people with mental health conditions lack the capacity to assume responsibility, manage their affairs and make decisions about their lives. These misconceptions contribute to the ongoing marginalization, disenfranchisement and invisibility of this group of people in their communities. A new paradigm is required, in which services promote recovery and emphasize the key elements of autonomy and participation of service users in all aspects of their treatment and private lives.


The main objectives of the WHO QualityRights project are:
1. Improving the quality of services and human rights conditions in inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities.
2. Building capacity among service users, families and health workers to understand and promote human rights, recovery and independent living in the community.
3. Developing a civil society movement of people with mental disabilities to provide mutual support, conduct advocacy and influence policy-making in line with international human rights standards.
4. Reforming national policies and legislation in line with best practice and international human rights standards.

 Promoting the WHO QualityRights Tool Kit

  • Translation of relevant WHO QualityRights Tool Kit in French.
  • Testing implementation of WHO QualityRights Tool Kit and its evaluation in French-speaking low income countries in coordination with WHO.
  • Assessing and improving the quality of health care as well as human rights conditions in mental health and social care facilities. Results to be shared with WHO.
  • Empowering organisations for advocating for the rights of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities through raising awareness by disseminating relevant WHO QualityRights Tool Kit.


Link to the Qualityrights flyer.

Link to the QualityRights website.