Human Rights Watch (HRW), an organization with whom we have partnered in the past, is campaigning against the human rights violations that the mentally ill suffer from in many countries. Like in African prayer camps, mentally ill people in Indonesia are chained and confined, living in unsanitary and inhumane conditions. Despite the fact that the practice of shackling was banned in 1977, more than 18,000 people live chained to beds, cement blocks or animal pens.
Since the Indonesian government does not provide adequate mental health care, shackling is many times a family’s only option. There is no medical, social or economic aid to provide families with an alternative to chaining their loved ones. In a country of 250 million people, there are only 48 mental health hospitals and less than 1000 psychiatrists available.
Seeing this is a constant reminder of the importance of our work in the field. There is still much to be done, whether it is promoting adequate treatment and care, psychological counseling or fighting for the dignity and basic human rights of the mentally ill.
HRW’s campaign will call on Indonesia’s Health Minister, Dr. Nila Farid Moeloek, to provide mental health medication in local health centers and support services for all who seek it.
At Fondation d’Harcourt we strongly believe in this campaign and would like to encourage all of our contacts to show their support by visiting: https://www.hrw.org/breakthechains
You can also visit HRW’s Facebook page and share this campaign with your contacts.
Read HRW’s report “Living in Hell” here.
Watch the campaign’s video here.