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Original Research Articles

China’s Mental Health Law: Analysis of Core Concepts of Human Rights and Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups


Meghan Marie Hussey ,

Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin, IE
About Meghan Marie

Meghan Hussey specialises in disability inclusive global health and development. She recently completed her MSc in Global Health at Trinity College Dublin as a Mitchell Scholar and currently works as International Field Director for Mosaic International. From 2012-2013, Meghan was a Fulbright Scholar affiliated with Beijing Normal University where she conducted research on programs for adolescents and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities in China. She then spent a year as a Mosaic Fellow working on the development for community based services for people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Tanzania. She previously worked as a global health research assistant at the Center for High-Impact Philanthropy and has also served as an intern at Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia and the Republic of Botswana Ministry of Health. 

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Hasheem Mannan

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, Health Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, IE
About Hasheem

Hasheem Mannan joined the School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Systems as Senior Lecturer in January 2015.  Hasheem completed his PhD on disability policy and family studies at the University of Kansas, USA in 2005. Most recently he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne. Prior to that he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin. He also held a two year Marie Curie Fellowship at the National Institute for Intellectual Disabilities, Trinity College Dublin. He has worked for the University of Kansas, the World Health Organization, the US National Center for Health Statistics, and the National Disability Authority (Ireland). Hasheem's areas of expertise include content analysis of health policies; human resources for health and service delivery; disability measurement and statistics; and social inclusion.  

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Purpose: The aim of this research is to assess China’s first Mental Health Law in terms of Core Concepts of Human Rights and equitable coverage of Vulnerable Groups.

Methods: The EquiFrame analytical tool provided the framework for evaluation of the inclusion of Core Concepts of Human Rights as well as Vulnerable Groups in the Law.

Results: China’s Mental Health Law scored 83% for Core Concept coverage, with a Core Concept Quality score of 76%. The Law had a 42% score for Vulnerable Groups coverage.  This gave the Law an overall score of “Moderate” in terms of Human Rights coverage.

Conclusions: China’s Mental Health Law is a landmark document providing the country’s first ever legal framework for mental health. While the Law scores high on level commitment in Core Concepts of Human Rights, the potential for equitable protection would be enhanced by increased inclusion of Vulnerable Groups.

Limitations: Further analyses of health and social policies in the People’s Republic of China from a Human Rights perspective would provide a deeper understanding of the Law in context.

How to Cite: Hussey, M.M. and Mannan, H., 2016. China’s Mental Health Law: Analysis of Core Concepts of Human Rights and Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 26(4), pp.117–137. DOI:
Published on 29 Feb 2016.


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