Somaliland: People With Disabilities Abused, Neglected
Ensure Oversight; End Chaining, Involuntary Treatment
Monday 26 October 2015
(Nairobi, October 26, 2015) – People with mental health conditions in Somaliland are increasingly forced into institutions, where they face serious abuses and poor conditions, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Somaliland authorities should provide oversight for all mental health facilities, prohibit chaining, and establish voluntary community-based services for people with mental health conditions.
The 78-page report, “‘Chained Like Prisoners’: Abuses Against People with Psychosocial Disabilities in Somaliland,” finds that men with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities face abusive restraints, beatings, involuntary treatment, and overcrowding in private and public health centers. Most are held against their will and have no possibility of challenging their detention. In private centers in particular, those with psychosocial disabilities face punitive and prolonged chaining, confinement, seclusion, and severe restrictions on their movement. The findings highlight the importance of mental health services in post-conflict regions. According to the World Health Organization, Somaliland has high rates of psychosocial disability.