Human Rights of Asylum Seekers with Psychosocial Disabilities in Europe

Mauro Giovanni Carta*, 1, Maria Francesca Moro1, 2, Antonio Preti1, Jutta Lindert3, Dinesh Bhugra4, Mattias Angermeyer5, Marcello Vellante1
1 Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, SS554 Monserrato (Cagliari), Sardinia, Italy
2 Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, United States
3 Emden University, Germany
4 Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK
5 Mattias Angermeyer Center for Public Mental Health, Gosim, Austria

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© Carta et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Cagliari, Department of Medicine and Public Health, Cittadella Universitaria SS 554, 09042 Monserrato Cagliari, Italy; Tel: +39 335 499994; Fax: +39 070 6093498; E-mail:



The migrants crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe have dramatically been increased in 2015 as the number of incidents and deaths


This editorial summarizes the results of our work and highlights some critical aspects that hinder the care to asylum seekers with stress disorders.


Screening for mental disorders was performed in all migrants joint three camps in Sardinia (January-September 2015) using K6, Short Screening Scale for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and with an interview. Positives were evaluated by psychiatrists and if they needed, have been treated and evaluated at the start of treatment and three months later.


22.1% of the sample, (22.6% female, 38.5±12.9 years) were positive for at least one screener; 8.7%, (24% female) had a diagnosis of depressive or bipolar DSM5 disorders and 7.6%, (25% female) of PTSD. After three months of treatment: 51 treated people (26.8%) had left the camps. 53.1% of those remaining declared had relatives in northern Europe that they wanted to reach. Only 8.3% showed a significant clinical improvement.


Clinical improvement was dramatically poor in people who stay in the camps. Dissatisfaction and feeling they could not join relatives may have had a negative impact. In PTSD, with the experience of torture and seeing family members killed, staying with surviving relatives in stable conditions would be an important part of treatment. From this point of view the UE Dublin Regulation seems not to be in agreement with the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

Keywords: Asylum seekers, Europe, Mood disorders, PTSD, UN CRPD.