A human rights based approach and the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers in Scotland

A human rights based approach has already been adopted in the development of care services for people with dementia in Scotland.

The Cross-Party Group on Alzheimer’s at the Scottish Parliament brings together Members of the Scottish Parliament with organisations representing the interests of people with dementia. The group works towards ensuring that high quality support, services and treatment are available in order to assist people with dementia and their carers throughout Scotland.

As part of this work the group has considered how to ensure that the rights of people with dementia and their carers are fully recognised at all levels of government and by individuals and non-governmental organisations.

People with dementia and their carers (family members and friends) have the same human rights as everyone else. It is widely recognised, however, that in addition to the impact of the illness, people with dementia and their carers can face cultural, social and economic barriers to fulfilling these rights.

The group has produced a Charter of Rights which aims to empower people with dementia, those who support them and the community as a whole, to ensure their rights are recognised and respected.

The Charter is guided by a human rights based approach as described above (known as the “PANEL” approach, endorsed by the United Nations).

It emphasises the rights of everyone to:

  • articipation in decisions which affect their human rights

  • ccountability of those responsible for the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights

  • on-discrimination and equality

  • mpowerment to know their rights and how to claim them

  • egality in all decisions through an explicit link with human rights legal standards in all processes and outcome measurements.

To see a copy of this Charter go to: http://www.dementiarights.org/charter-of-rights