Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children across 60 countries are chained, simply for having a mental health condition. This happens because of stigma, fear, and government failure. Human Rights Watch has started a petition for the #BreakTheChains pledge, a global movement that believes all people should live in dignity. They aim to push governments, institutions, and faith leaders to end chaining.
Emina Ćerimović is a senior researcher on disability rights at Human Rights Watch. She leads the organization’s work on the protection of people with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies worldwide. She has also documented shackling and abuses against people with mental health conditions in Nigeria, the institutionalization of children and adults with disabilities in Croatia and Serbia, and discrimination in access to education for children with disabilities.