Target: Shri Rajesh Kishore, Secretary General of Human Rights in India
Goal: Reform system that forces disabled women and girls into abusive institutions
Women and girls with disabilities in India have endured forced institutionalization for decades, where they face squalid conditions, physical and sexual abuse, and defunct mental treatment practices such as electroshock therapy. These vulnerable populations deserve support and assistance, not mistreatment from their government.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, many women and young girls are dumped in institutions by law enforcement officials and their own families, due to the fact that the country simply doesn’t have appropriate support or services that attend to the special needs of the disabled. Individuals involuntarily placed in detention centers, mental hospitals, and residential care institutions, many of which are overcrowded, experience severe lack of hygiene, inadequate access to healthcare, and verbal abuse. Additionally, women with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are often unable to overcome barriers preventing them from reporting abuses and accessing justice.
Disabled women and girls are among the most marginalized populations in India on account of their gender, and especially vulnerable to abuse and violence. Eschewed by their families, these women and girls are without community support and end up victims of a failing societal system that encourages ridicule, fear, stigma, and ignorance. Many of the women interviewed for the Human Rights Watch report state that they’ve been institutionalized, without their consent, for a decade or more. Although India passed legislation that made it illegal to force institutionalization on an individual, India’s courts often override the law, and India’s foible healthcare system doesn’t allow institutions access to whatever little support and services are available.
The lives of millions of women with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, forced to endure poor hygiene, sexual abuse, and archaic mental treatment practices, are under threat. Sign the petition to encourage Shri Rajesh Kishore, secretary general of human rights in India, to jumpstart reformation of laws that force institutionalization on disabled women.
Dear Secretary General Kishore,
It has recently come to my attention that the living conditions for women with disabilities in India are deplorable. From being housed in overcrowded mental clinics where patients are forced to defecate openly because there simply aren’t enough bathrooms available, to being raped and verbally abused by staff members who are supposed to be protecting them, women and girls with psychosocial disabilities and intellectual disorders have been ignored for far too long.
No one should be forcibly admitted to government institutions or mental hospitals simply because their country doesn’t care enough to create proper legislation to protect them. Women and girls with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities have unique needs that aren’t being met at filled-to-capacity detention centers and vile residential institutions. The Indian government needs to pursue urgent legal reformations to address these unnecessary abuses and protect the rights of women and girls who suffer from disabilities.
However, it is up to India’s human rights council to verbalize these injustices so that the government understands the severity of their apathy towards this marginalized population. I urge you to support the reformation of laws that force institutionalization on disabled women.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: LoggaWiggler via Pixabay