For advocates of the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly persons with mental disabilities, the human right to live in the community as an equal member is seen to be central and, often, even as the basis for all other human rights. Yet, despite its articulation in human rights law in the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), foundational issues about the right remain undertheorized and unclear. This paper brings to bear the capabilities approach, a normative framework about human well-being, social development and social justice, to this central concern in disability rights, mental health ethics, and international human rights law: protecting and respecting a person's right to live in a community as an equal. We argue that this human and moral right is best conceptualized as a capability to live in the community as an equal member. The capabilities approach provides this capability with a strong ethical framework and conceptual resources to guide reasoning and its practical realization.
- CRPD (Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
- Capabilities approach
- Human rights