An online survey is now open for people to have their say on the draft Rights for Life Declaration and Agenda for Change.
As featured in the Herald on International Human Rights Day 2015, this is a critical time for mental health in Scotland. By affirming human rights and detailing practical measures to achieve them, the Declaration and Agenda are intended to achieve real and lasting change to the lives of people affected by mental health conditions.
What are the Rights for Life Declaration and Agenda for Change?
The Declaration sets out the rights that people affected by mental health problems in Scotland are calling for. The Agenda for Change sets out some of the ways in which these rights can be realised.
These documents reflect the principles, rights and standards set out in international human rights treaties to which the UK and Scotland are bound. This includes (amongst others), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Declaration and Agenda for Change are guided by the PANEL Principles of the rights-based approach: Participation, Accountability, Non-discrimination, Empowerment, and Legality. For more information about PANEL, visit the Scottish Human Rights Commission website.
Where do the Declaration and Agenda for Change come from?
In June 2015 a group of Scottish mental health and human rights organisations* came together to organise a landmark two-day national event on human rights and mental health recovery: Rights for Life. During the event hundreds of in-person and online delegates and over 60 speakers made thousands of contributions during a series of showcasing workshops, panel debates and World Café discussions. Since then, we have be working to pull together all these contributions into a Declaration of Rights and Agenda for Change.
Consultation on the drafts
A consultation event was held in Glasgow on 26 October 2015 with around 60 people who had expressed an interest in being involved. There will be further regional consultations during November and December 2015 organised in partnership with local organisations and networks of people in Scotland affected by mental health problems. Once we have gathered and analysed all the feedback from the national, regional and online consultations, the Rights for Life organisers and Steering Group hope to produce a final version by February 2016. At this time we will start to consult more widely on how we can all use the Declaration and Agenda for Change in the future.
What will the Declaration and Agenda for Change help achieve?
The Declaration and Agenda for Change are intended to achieve real, sustainable, transformational change to the way that people affected by mental health problems enjoy human rights.
How to take part in this online consultation
We’d like your feedback to four principle questions:
- What works?
- What doesn’t work?
- What needs to be added?
- What’s the one priority issue you would choose from each section?
The online survey is intended for people aged over 16 and living in Scotland, and is open until 24 December 2015. You can access the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/r4ln-d15.
If you don’t fit these criteria but are interested in the draft documents you can download a copy here. Those eligible to complete the survey might also want to download a copy to refer to separately.
*The Rights for Life organisers and Steering Group include: Scottish Recovery Network, See Me, Voices Of eXperience, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance, Scottish Human Rights Commission and Mental Health Network Greater Glasgow. You can also download a copy of the Agenda item by SRN, See Me and VOX, featured in the Herald on International Human Rights Day, 10th December 2015, here.