"It is totally unacceptable for anyone with a learning disability
to be treated in a way that compromises their human rights.“
“My body’s nobody’s body but mine.
You run your own body, let me run mine.” Peter Alsop, USA
“The problem is not how to wipe out the differences,
but how to unite with the differences intact.” Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet
“These nurses were… doing things for me around the clock.
I didn’t have to make any decisions for myself….
When they all finally left,
that’s when I realized that I could have a life,
despite what everyone was saying.
I could make choices, and that is freedom.” Ed Roberts, USA
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
House of Lords
House of Commons
Joint Committee on
A Life Like Any Other? Human Rights of Adults with Learning
Seventh Report of Session 2007–08
“We are disappointed that, at the start of the 21st century,
almost ten years after the introduction of the Human Rights
Act, and over a year since the introduction of the Disability
Equality Duty, [the] evidence received convinces us that we
need to emphasise that adults with learning disabilities have
the same human rights as everyone else; and that they are
entitled to freedom, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy
in their everyday lives.” (Paragraph 44)
“We expect the Government to give the
recommendations and conclusions of our Report
serious consideration during preparation of the
final version of Valuing People Now and in
setting its priorities for action for the next
three years. We consider that Valuing People
Now presents a valuable opportunity for the
Department of Health to take a positive
approach towards the promotion of the
understanding and protection of the human
rights of adults with learning disabilities.
We recommend that, when redrafted after
consultation, Valuing People Now should
explicitly promote a “human rights based
approach” to public authorities‟ duties under the
Human Rights Act; and should provide practical
guidance for public authorities on the effective
implementation of those duties.” (Paragraph 40)
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Article 2 ECHR - The right to life
Article 3 ECHR - Prohibition of torture
Article 4 ECHR - Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
Article 5 ECHR - Right to liberty and security
Article 6 ECHR - The right to a fair trial
Article 7 ECHR - No punishment without legislation
Article 8 ECHR - The right to respect for private and family life
Article 9 ECHR - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Article 10 ECHR- Freedom of expression
Article 11 ECHR - Freedom of assembly and association
Article 12 ECHR - Freedom to marry
Article 13 ECHR - The right to an effective remedy
Article 14 ECHR - Prohibition of discrimination
Myths about Human Rights
• Human Rights = civil rights.
• Human Rights are only concerned
• Only lawyers can understand the
significance of Human Rights.
• Human Rights are only individual,
Human Rights abuses mainly occur in poor, developing, foreign countries.
Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his
home and his correspondence.
UN Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
What specific rights are covered in the Convention?
The right to self-determination
The right to education
The right to vote and participate in public life
The right to live in the community and participate in cultural life
The right to work, and to an adequate standard of living
The right to privacy
The right to habilitation and rehabilitation
The right to health care
The right to receive information in accessible formats
The right to marry and divorce, and to share equally in child custody
The right to procreate, and the right to obtain contraception
The right to sign contracts, and own and inherit property
The right to accessible public transit and public accommodations
Rehabilitate Disabled Persons Rehabilitate Society
Charity, Medical treatment Rights
Adjustment to the norm Acceptance of differences
Exclusion Inclusion, participation, citizenship
Little consultation ‘Nothing about us without us’
The CRPD – heralding a new era
Shift in focus
PERSON DAD STUDENT CITIZEN
WHAT CAN I DO?
ADVOCATE MANAGER FORUM TRAINER
ECHR Article 5: Right to liberty
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.
No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following
cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law
2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a
language which he understands, of the reasons for his
arrest and of any charge against him.
3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the
provisions of paragraph 1.c of this article shall be brought
promptly before a judge or other officer authourised by
law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial
within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release
may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.
4. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or
detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which
the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by
a court and his release ordered if the detention is not
5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in
contravention of the provisions of this article shall have an
enforceable right to compensation.
1. Raise awareness of „Deprivation of
2. Examine Practice of my Organisation
3. Train as a DOLS advocate (IMCA)
The Mental Capacity Act 2005
1. Underpinned by several Human Rights
2. Like Human Rights instruments, it is
3. We can all have an impact
The five core principles
(Code of Practice, Chapter 2)
1. A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is
established that they lack capacity.
2. A person is not to be treated as unable to make a
decision unless all practicable (do-able) steps to help
them to do so have been taken without success.
3. A person is not to be treated as unable to make a
decision merely because they make an unwise decision.
4. An act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on
behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or
made, in their best interests.
5. Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard
must be had to whether the purpose for which it is
needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is
less restrictive of the person‟s rights and freedom of
Hierarchy of decision-making
How many autonomous decisions will you make when you
go home tonight?
How does that compare to the number made by
someone you support/deliver a service to?