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Section 20 Mental Healthcare Act 2017: Right to protection from cruel, inhuman & degrading treatment

Section 20 (Right to protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment) under Chapter V (Rights of Persons with Mental Illness) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 —

❝(1) Every person with mental illness shall have a right to live with dignity.

(2) Every person with mental illness shall be protected from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in any mental health establishment and shall have the following rights, namely:—
 (a) to live in safe and hygienic environment;
 (b) to have adequate sanitary conditions;
 (c) to have reasonable facilities for leisure, recreation, education and religious practices;
 (d) to privacy;
 (e) for proper clothing so as to protect such person from exposure of his body to maintain his dignity;
 (f) to not be forced to undertake work in a mental health establishment and to receive appropriate remuneration for work when undertaken;
 (g) to have adequate provision for preparing for living in the community;
 (h) to have adequate provision for wholesome food, sanitation, space and access to articles of personal hygiene, in particular, women's personal hygiene be adequately addressed by providing access to items that may be required during menstruation;
 (i) to not be subject to compulsory tonsuring (shaving of head hair);
 (j) to wear own personal clothes if so wished and to not be forced to wear uniforms provided by the establishment; and
 (k) to be protected from all forms of physical, verbal, emotional and s e xual abuse.❞

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