120814 The Emergence of an UserSurvivor Perspective in Human Rights
CRPD Advocacy by the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry:
of a User/Survivor Perspective in Human Rights.
Tina Minkowitz, JD
Human rights law evolves
through processes of social eruption, in which social movements agitate for the
recognition of injustices as legal wrongs, and in which sectors of the
population that have been oppressed rise up to assert themselves as protagonists who
change the landscape of law along with the social, economic and cultural
relationships in which law is grounded. The involvement of users and
survivors of psychiatry in the CRPD drafting and negotiations, as an integral part of
the community of people with disabilities, set the stage for a dramatic (r)evolution in
human rights law.
The World Network
of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) is a global democratic
organization of users and survivors of psychiatry/ people with psychosocial disabilities that
represents this constituency at the global level. The historic demands of our movement are the
abolition of civil commitment and of nonconsensual, often violent, psychiatric interventions, and
for equal and honest relations with others that respect our choices and our dignity. Working
on the CRPD required us to develop legal theory that would both express and resolve these
demands in the context of international human rights law.