The number of patients living in the two psychiatric institutions is around one thousand. This number has up till now only been modified by mortality. The weight of people leaving and integrating into society is almost nonexistent. The condition of the institutions has been described as being in a state of “Human Emergency”.

One of the principal objectives of the current Board of Directors of the “Colonias” and the government of Uruguay is the unrestricted promotion of the quality of life and the human rights of the patients. So far very little attention has been paid to mentally disabled people and the conditions in the institutions violate a broad range of human rights. The patients should be able to have and receive the following rights:

• To be seen as citizens and be treated with dignity
• The right to privacy
• The right to be protected against discrimination
• The right to be protected against harm and unjustified medication
• The right to better rehabilitation treatment in order to enhance personal autonomy.
• The right to participate in the community
• The right to proper clothing, food, recreation and medical assistance.
• The right to an education
• The right to work

The right to EXIST.

For more information on the rights and conditions of mentally disabled people: -


“I feel that very few love them or care for them, and that’s how it is, it is difficult to love them, to understand them, to live with them”.

“The task is to get them out, integrate them into society, to provide continuous qualified training for those who wish to work. This is not simple; it is complex and without economic support, solidarity and real human commitment, it will not only get worse, but grow. And we will only then realize that human rights are still being violated and forgotten”.

Dr. Osvaldo do Campo
Director of the Colonia Dr. B Etchepare
and Colonia S.C. Rossi.