Current Progress

The Declaration of the Freedom of Mind, issued by the World Mental Health Coalition (, articulates freedom of mind in a written declaration for the first time. As such, it opens exciting new ways to promote freedom of mind as a human right, including the prospect of proposing the Declaration to the United Nations for adoption.

The World Mental Health Coalition is seeking to identify a political and legal pathway for freedom of mind to enter into the international human rights architecture. Matt Bywater is assisting the World Mental Health Coalition with this project, and will present at the XXXVIIth International Congress on Law and Mental Health (Lyon, 3rd-8th July 2022) and also at the 2023 International Cultic Studies Association conference.

He is currently conducting a preliminary literature review, with a view to undertaking doctoral-level research that would entail:

1) Looking at how previous human rights concepts became established, in particular how international coalitions successfully negotiated previous human rights instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights.

2) Articulating what is freedom of mind in human rights terms, so as to ensure that it is solid in its foundations as a human rights concept and thereby better able to defend itself against arguments to the contrary.

3) Exploring ways to popularize the concept of freedom of mind as a human right at the level of society; individuals need to know what a right constitutes if they are to make a claim for that right.

If you are able to offer us any advice or assistance with this endeavor, please reach out to us at: [email protected] .