Statement on JCHR findings: Time for actions which end “horrific” practices - Avenues Group
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Statement on JCHR findings: Time for actions which end “horrific” practices

Friday 11th of January 2019

While we welcome the findings of the Human Rights Committee and are thankful for the attention they have given this issue, unless real action is taken it is meaningless for the people who are being detained.

Our real concern is that this is being perceived as isolated incidents affecting a handful of people over a relatively short time. But it’s systemic, and rooted in a health-based approach that sees people born with learning disability and autism as sick. This attitude has meant that their human rights have been breached for decades, and despite the release of the report, we know the abuse will continue today in units across the UK.

The trauma and pain suffered in these assessment centres is frequently not experienced over weeks or months, but all too commonly over years, leaving heavy psychological scars.

These are extremely vulnerable people, and we have a duty to them and their families to end these unnecessary practices now.

The recommendations must now be robustly followed through, prioritising reform of the Mental Health Act to prevent these people’s inappropriate detention in the first place, and the creation of legal duties on CCGs and local authorities to ensure the right services are available in the community.

Jo Land, Interim Chief Executive.

This statement is a response to the Joint Human Rights Committee’s findings: