August 6, 2010 — Washington, DC-– We are proud to announce our organization’s new name, Disability Rights International. Our mission has not changed. Formerly Mental Disability Rights International, we remain committed to protecting the human rights and promoting the integration into society of people with disabilities. Our new name reflects the reality that people with any kind of disability—whether mental or physical—are often shut away from society, locked in institutions, and denied basic human dignity and rights.
Over the past 16 years, Disability Rights International has protected the rights of the world’s most vulnerable population. We have pressured governments into protecting human rights, freed children from cages, and we have closed abusive psychiatric hospitals. In their place, we have helped create community alternatives and self-advocacy movements so that people can regain control of their lives and live with dignity. We are proud to say that we have reunited institutionalized children with their loving families—and we have fostered communities where it is no longer necessary for a family to place a child in an institution in the first place.
For every child we have saved, unfortunately, there are hundreds that we haven’t reached in time. In recognition of the worldwide need of disability advocacy for children, Disability Rights International is launching the Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children. It is our goal to ensure that the next generation of children are never locked behind the doors of an institution they will likely never leave, and to sustain the advocacy to get the children who are already in abusive institutions, out. This work is possible because of you— and your support remains crucial. Please consider making a contribution to help support the Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children.