Standing Up for the Human Rights of Carers

Human rights are the minimum criteria that must be fulfilled in order for us to live dignified lives. As carers are hidden members of society, their basic rights are often ignored. Here are five human rights that carers in developing countries may not have access to:


Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family

Caring has a detrimental impact on the mental and physical well-being of carers. 61% of carers we surveyed in India expressed feelings of depression and anxiety as a result of their caring role. From this study, we also found that more than half of the carers had significant concerns about their physical health with almost 40% stating their caring duties were directly responsible for a deterioration in their physical health.


Everyone has the right to education

Our research in India found that at least 9% of carers are young carers under the age of 18. Young carers often have no choice but to drop out of school to focus on providing full-time care meaning they do not receive the education they are entitled to. Missing out on education impacts the future opportunities and aspirations of these young carers.


Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment

The role of caring is often a full-time, unpaid role which prevents carers from being able to seek income-earning opportunities. In Nepal, 80% of carers surveyed do not have a regular income as they are unable to find work that can fit around their caring duties.


Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security

For those who are unable to work, social security should help ease the financial burden faced from being unemployed. In the UK, caring is a recognised role for which the state provides a carer’s allowance for. Unfortunately, most developing countries do not provide such an allowance. In Nepal for instance, 97% of carers and their households live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day which is attributable to the lack of social security.


Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours

The majority of full-time carers in developing countries do not get respite breaks and run the risk of burning out. Our research in Nepal found that 88% of carers have no time to themselves and are unable to take a break from their caring duties.


We are committed to providing the human rights that carers in developing countries are entitled to by working with local NGOs to establish education, employment and respite opportunities. We also promote the advocacy of carers by giving them a platform so that local communities and governments can hear how their human rights are being neglected.

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