This chapter aims to provide an outline of British race relations, mental health and human rights legislation ± the framework within which mental health services are provided.

Prohibition of discrimination on any grounds, including racial grounds, has always been seen as vital to the protection of human rights. In this way protection from discrimination developed alongside the human rights movement. Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 provides a broad protection from discrimination in the enjoyment of the other convention rights on any ground, including race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a minority, property, birth or other status. The interface between race relations legislation and Article 14 will be covered later in this chapter.