120814 The Emergence of an UserSurvivor Perspective in Human Rights

CRPD Advocacy by the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry: The Emergence

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.