Petition Closed
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives and 4 others

Add Article 31: Special needs individuals should be given the same Human Rights.

An individual with special needs have all the basic human rights and dignity ascribed to other members of their community.  One out of seven people on earth suffers either mentally or physically from disability: the disabled community is no longer a minority.  Despite such a large percentage, these individuals are seldom observed in the streets; most of them remain hidden from mainstream society; We seldom see blind persons or wheelchairs riders cruising in a main thoroughfare.  It is as though the world is divided into two classes: the abled and the disabled.  In the new millennium, the rise in the incidence of disabilities in children necessitated greater recognition of these individuals so that community resources could be allocated to aid in their development.   Emphasizing human rights to special need individuals promotes greater acceptance and predicts better quality of life outcome for the individual, the family, and societ because early intervention can ameliorate the severity of both mental and physical symptoms.  Addressing the issue on disability ultimately will result in a more humane community consistent with the values of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 The article we are proposing:

Article 31

1. Everyone who has a mental and/or physical disability is an individual born free equal in dignity and rights as other members of society.  Their presence is to be embraced in domestic, health-care, public, recreational, educational, and vocational places.  Community members must extend respect and care towards special need individuals.

2. Everyone with a disability has the right to education and special need intervention to assist their full development starting as early as possible. Education and or/special education, which is essential to their upward progress shall be free and available regardless of socio-economic differences.

3. Special need services shall be directed to the full development of personality inherent in the individual. Promoting maximal function and independence will strengthen their fundamental freedom.  By taking care of the most vulnerable members of each community, understanding will be fostered among all nations, racial and religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations who all have in their midst individuals with special needs.  The gesture is a demonstration of higher human values.

4. Parents have the responsibility to provide intervention without delay.  Parents have the right to select the kind of education and intervention that shall be given to their children.

Statistics found from CDC.gov: 

About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.

 

ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

 

ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252).

 

Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with an ASD with an average prevalence of about 1%. A recent study in South Korea reported a prevalence of 2.6%.

 

About 1 in 6 children in the U.S. had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.

 

Data collected from a variety of data sources between the years 2005-2011 show:

Children aged 3-17 years currently had:

ADHD (6.8%)

Behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%)

Anxiety (3.0%)

Depression (2.1%)

Autism spectrum disorders (1.1%)

Tourette syndrome (0.2%) (among children aged 6–17 years)

Adolescents aged 12–17 years had:

Illicit drug use disorder in the past year (4.7%)

Alcohol use disorder in the past year (4.2%)

Cigarette dependence in the past month (2.8%)

 

How widespread is mental illness?

According to the World Health Organization, mental illness results in more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Other published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime.

 

Why is monitoring mental illness important?

Surveillance activities that monitor mental illness are essential because mental illness is a significant public health problem. For example,

 

according to the World Health Organization, mental illnesses account for more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease;

published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime;

mental illness is associated with increased occurrence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, epilepsy, and cancer;

mental illness is associated with lower use of medical care, reduced adherence to treatment therapies for chronic diseases, and higher risks of adverse health outcomes;

mental illness is associated with use of tobacco products and abuse of alcohol;

rates for both intentional (e.g., homicide, suicide) and unintentional (e.g., motor vehicle) injuries are 2 to 6 times higher among people with a mental illness than in the population overall;

population-based surveys and surveillance systems provide much of the evidence needed to guide effective mental health promotion, mental illness prevention, and treatment programs;

monitoring mental illness is an important way to provide appropriate organizations the data they need to assess the need for mental and behavioral health services and to inform the provision of those services;

many mental illnesses can be managed successfully, and increasing access to and use of mental health treatment services could substantially reduce the associated morbidity;

many chronic illnesses are associated with mental illnesses, and it's been shown that treatment of mental illnesses associated with chronic diseases can reduce the effects of both and support better outcomes; and

CDC surveillance systems provide several types of mental health information, such as estimates of the prevalence of diagnosed mental illness from self-report or recorded diagnosis, estimates of the prevalence of symptoms associated with mental illness, and estimates of the effect of mental illness on health and well-being.

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
President of the United States
and 2 others
United Nations UN Human Rights Council
United Nations Disablities Council
Please help us in adding an extra article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for individuals with special needs.

Article 31
(1) Everyone who has a mental and/or physical disability is an individual born free equal in dignity and rights as other members of society. Their presence is to be embraced in domestic, health-care, public, recreational, educational, and vocational places. Community members must extend respect and care towards special need individuals.
(2) Everyone with a disability has the right to education and special need intervention to assist their full development starting as early as possible. Education and or/special education, which is essential to their upward progress shall be free and available regardless of socio-economic differences.
(3) Special need services shall be directed to the full development of personality inherent in the individual. Promoting maximal function and independence will strengthen their fundamental freedom. By taking care of the most vulnerable members of each community, understanding will be fostered among all nations, racial and religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations who all have in their midst individuals with special needs. The gesture is a demonstration of higher human values.
(4) Parents have the responsibility to provide intervention without delay. Parents have the right to select the kind of education and intervention that shall be given to their children.