12. Implementation and Enforcement

  1. Felicity Callard1,
  2. Norman Sartorius2,
  3. Julio Arboleda-Flórez3,
  4. Peter Bartlett4,
  5. Hanfried Helmchen5,
  6. Heather Stuart3,
  7. Jose Taborda6 and
  8. Graham Thornicroft1

Published Online: 17 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119945352.ch12

Mental Illness, Discrimination and the Law: Fighting for Social Justice

Mental Illness, Discrimination and the Law: Fighting for Social Justice

How to Cite

Callard, F., Sartorius, N., Arboleda-Flórez, J., Bartlett, P., Helmchen, H., Stuart, H., Taborda, J. and Thornicroft, G. (2012) Implementation and Enforcement, in Mental Illness, Discrimination and the Law: Fighting for Social Justice, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119945352.ch12

Author Information

  1. 1

    Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK

  2. 2

    Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes, Geneva, Switzerland

  3. 3

    Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  4. 4

    School of Law and Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, UK

  5. 5

    Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Germany

  6. 6

    Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 13 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119953548

Online ISBN: 9781119945352



  • advocacy;
  • complaints mechanisms;
  • enforcing legal reform;
  • human rights commissions;
  • institutional inspection;
  • national disability strategies;
  • national human rights institutions;
  • ombudsmen;
  • service user leadership;
  • service user and carer involvement


Proper mechanisms of enforcement and implementation are indispensable if legislation is to result in any meaningful changes for the lives of people with mental health problems. We provide an extensive array of examples – from both high- and low-income countries – of such implementation and enforcement mechanisms. We dwell on the critical role of independent national human rights institutions in promoting and monitoring the effective implementation of international human rights standards. We indicate the importance of ensuring that the rights of people with mental health problems are not marginalised within the work of these institutions. The work of inspection and visitation of institutional environments is crucial if the rights of people with mental health problems in institutional settings are to be upheld and protected. We give examples of how international and regional instruments can be used to strengthen countries' inspection regimes. We place significant emphasis on the importance of advocacy in any serious legislative and policy reform: it is critical that mental health service user organisations are supported and given access to policy forums so as to be able to contribute to this work.