- it’s use of discriminatory and derogatory language to describe and categorise persons with mental disabilities;
- its sanction of detention of persons with disabilities on grounds of their disability, including in criminal detention facilities;
- it’s permissions of psychiatric treatment without informed consent;
- it’s denial of legal capacity to persons with mental disabilities without equal and effective protection of the law; and
- the creation of a two-tier healthcare system depriving persons with mental disabilities with access to mental healthcare services at primary healthcare level and failing to provide adequate and appropriate healthcare and rehabilitation.
Zambia: Challenging the Mental Disorders Act
SALC supported a petition by three persons with psychosocial disabilities and the Mental Health Users Network of Zambia (MHUNZA) to repeal the Mental Disorders Act of 1949 in Mwewa and Others v the Attorney General and Others. The Petitioners argued that the Act unconstitutionally infringes on the rights to dignity, liberty and to freedom from discrimination of persons with mental disabilities and denies persons with mental disabilities the protection of the legal capacity as required by the 2012 Persons with Disabilities Act. This is due, amongst others, to the following features of the Mental Disorders Act: