The Inclusion International principles take account of the following tenets .

(1) All people with a mental handicap are citizens of their country, no less entitled than their fellow citizens to consideration, respect and protection under the law .

(2) People with a mental handicap shall live, learn, work and enjoy life in the community and shall be accepted and valued as any other citizen is accepted or valued .

(3) The family is acknowledged as the primary source of love and security for the person with a mental handicap . For those without families, human services must seek to offer experience as close to family experience as possible .

(4) People with a mental handicap shall be provided with the appropriate assistance necessary to enable them to make the fullest useof their abilities .

(5) A mental handicap shall not, of itself, justify any form of adverse discrimination .

(6) While the ultimate basis for all decisions relating to a particular person with disability must be " what is right for the individual ", such decisions shall always be culturally appropriate to, and be of benefit for, that person .

(7) Should any restrictions be clearly demonstrated as the only means possible to ensure the welfare of a person with a mental handicap, these shall be the least restrictive possible and shall be associated with a programme designed to remove all such restrictions as quickly as possible .

Based on the above tenets, Inclusion International proclaims the following principles .

1 Human rights

Inclusion International endorses the Declarations set out below :

a) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations (1948) which proclaims that all of the human family without distinction of any kind have equal and inalienable rights of human dignity and freedom to education and training to enable development of their abilities to their fullest potential .

b) the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons adopted by the United Nations (1971) which outlines the special education, treatment and care required and calls for international and national action to ensure the welfare of persons with mental handicap and respect of their rights .

c) the Declaration on the Rights of Disables Persons adopted by the United Nations (1975) which describes measures to enable people with a disabilty to become as self-reliant as possible or to hasten their integration.

d) The Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the United Nations (1989) which also proclaims the right of a child with a physical, mental or social handicap to the special treatment, education and care required by his or her particular condition .

e) The Standard Rules for theEqualisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities adopted by the United Nation General Assembly (1993) which imply a strong moral and political commitment on behalf of states to take actions to ensure that persons with disabilities as citizens of their societies may exercise the same rights and obligations as others

2 Personal rights

People with a mental handicap have the same personal rights as others and shall be made aware of the consequences and responsabilities attendant on those rights .

3 Family support

Families should be empowered to play an effective part in the making of decisions affecting their children with a mental handicap . This entails a partnership between individuals, families and professionals . Families together with persons with a mental handicap shall be consulted and play a major role in the development of legislation, policies and procedures that affect the lives of people with a mental handicap .

4 Health

People with a mental handicap have the same rights to life and access to health care to meet their needs as do other members of the community . Appropriate services in maternal and child health care can help to prevent or reduce impairments and resulting handicaps .

 5 Community integration

People with a mental handicap shall be included into the community and have ready access to all services that are available to the rest of the community .

6 Self-determination and self-advocacy

People with a mental handicap shall be supported in making their own needs and aspirations known, by whatever means of communication are open to them and shall, where possible, be helped by training in self-advocacy to influence developments in the wider community, at local, national and international levels .

7 Education

All persons with a handicap, regardless of the severity of their handicap, have the same rights as other members of society to receive education as full-time participants in their communities .

They shall be given special attention so that this education will be individualised and take into account the abilities and potential of each person concerned .

8 Residential options

People with a mental handicap are entitled to live in conditions similar to those enjoyed by other members of the family and of society . Every effort shall be made to maintain family links wherever the person is living .

9 Legal rights

Persons with a mental handicap shall be presumed to have the capacity to exercise all the legal rights of a citizen of their country . They may require assistance and support to exercise those rights and may from time to time require protection against exploitation of personal and property rights .

10 Employment, work and vocational opportunities

A person with a mental handicap shall have the same opportunity as other people for vocational training and employment .

Employment in the community should be the first option . Where this is impossible, member societies shall pursue the creation of other options, such as cooperatives, for adults with a mental handicap .

11 Recreation and leisure

People with a mental handicap have a right to enjoy the full range of recreation and leisure pursuits based on their choice .

12 Human relationships

People with a mental handicap shall have opportunities as others in the community to develop personal relationships . Sterilisation on the grounds of mental disability alone is not justified .

13 Income support

In order to ensure and to protect a quality of life equal to that of the rest of the community, people with a mental handicap and /or their families may need additional financial support .

14 The volunteer

Involvement of others in the community, as friends, neighbours and committed citizens, is essential to community care and this need for community participation shall be emphasized by personal contacts, school and public awareness programmes, and the use of media opportunities .

 15 Role of member societies

Member societies of Inclusion International are the focal points and initiating groups to promote these principles, and to carry out the purposes and the advocacy of Inclusion International in their countries, with zeal and determination .

16 Role of governments

Inclusion International encourages all levels of government to support actively the implementation of these principles .

17 Partnership

Inclusion International encourages two-way partnerships between countries at different stages of social and economic development .

18 Research

Appropriate social policy oriented, as well as other research in the field of mental handicap is encouraged by Inclusion International .

19 Evaluation and monitoring of services

All services for people with a mental handicap must be regularly monitored and evaluated .

Persons with a mental handicap, their parents and their associations shall be given the opportunity to participate fully in this process and in any consultations and agreements which may follow as a consequence of any evaluation .

20 Review

These basic principles shall be reviewed by wide consultation among the membership of Inclusion International and reaffirmed ( with amendments if necessary ) at four-yearly intervals coinciding with a World Congress of Inclusion International .