Reflecting on the International Day for Support of Victims of Torture, Shantha Rau Barriga, Disability Rights Director at Human Rights Watch, shares gripping portraits of peoples with disability shackled and utterly de-humanized.
As Shantha notes, “Shackling does far more harm than simply restricting movement. From the moment the chains are fastened … (the individuals) are no longer recognized or treated as people.” Shantha goes on to share that “In discussing this recently with Kim Samuel, the founder of a growing movement on social connectedness, I was struck by her insights on the profound consequences that prolonged isolation and neglect may have: “When a society views people with disabilities as less than human, this strips them of their power, their dignity and their right to belong.”
Shantha encourages us all to advocate for essential reforms ending these horrific practices and enabling rights, dignity and freedom to flourish.
Read her most recent article for the Huffington Post, Restricted by Chains and by the Law.