About Health and Human Rights Info
Health and Human Rights Info aims at making professional experiences and resources more easily accessible to health
professionals working with people exposed to human rights abuses, armed conflict, forced migration and other human
rights violations. Today there is a lot of relevant material out on the internet related to such issues as health,
conflict, community intervention etc. We try to bring this material together and through a process of evaluation,
analysis and editing we hope to provide a good and comprehensive source of information that can be of practical use
and support in work with and assistance in situations where more specialized services within health care are not
available and the need to provide care is of essence. The main focus in the materials that we present on this
resource pages is on a mental health aspect of the work. HHRI also aims at developing new material to be used
in training and as a support for health workers or those engaged as humanitarian or relief works in different
settings of emergency. A training manual on mental health assistance to women exposed to rape and other forms
of sexual violence in conflict, “Mental health and Gender Based Violence. Helping Survivors of Sexual Violence
in Conflict - a Training Manual” was finalized and published in September 2014, revised in 2016. The manual is now also availabe in Arabic and Russian.
The oraganisation is funded by Mental Health Project,
a Norwegian NGO dedicated to training and support to health professionals working within the field of
human rights violations, conflict and health. Their generous financial contribution has made this organisation possible.
The development of the training manual, “Mental Health and Gender Based Violence” is funded by the Norwegian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bonheur ASA.
The organisation was initiated as an activity of International Society for Health
and Human Rights (ISHHR), an international organisation of teams and centres engaged in work with victims and survivors of human
rights violations in settings of political repression, armed conflict, and post-conflict situations.
ISHHR has as a main objective to strengthen of our common efforts to prevent human rights abuses, secure mental
health care and assistance to survivors and to fight impunity. HHRI is likewise based on these objectives and sees
health care and knowledge about the consequences of violence as an important part of the global struggle against
human rights abuses and impunity for such acts. HHRI is based in Oslo, Norway and has its office as part of the
Norwegian Human Rights House, together with other Human Rights Civil Society Organizations.
Responsible for the daily work of HHRI are Nora Sveaass, Elisabeth Ng Langdal and Carolina Montoya
and the board. In addition an informal group of international
professionals is available to ensure that the material selected and presented has a good professional
and ethical standard and may be relevant for the work in question. HHRI has also established a group of
highly qualified professionals for the development and implementation of the Manual on Sexual violence.
Over the years many have contributed to this web site, in particular the council of ISHHR, Sigurd Kraft
Gulbrandsen, Magnar Naustdalslid, Caroline Garcia-Aarsæther, Igor Leon Quilquichicon, Monica Bothner,
Engelke Randers, Nina Teran, Maria Elena Alvarez Manilla, Doris Drews, Tabassom Fanaian and Carolina Montoya.
NORA SVEAASS - Chair of the Board
A clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo.
Nora Sveaass chairs Health and Human Rights Info and until 2013 she was a member of the UN Committee against Torture, now she is a member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.
When Nora was the head of International Society for Health and Human Rights she took initiative to establish HHRI.
She has worked for many years with survivors of trauma and forced migration at Oslo University’s Psychosocial Centre
for Refugees. In her research as well as in teaching, there are links to questions
in relation to refugees, human rights violations, psychological consequences and the
possibilities for treatment and rehabilitation in the aftermath of torture and other experiences
of violence and loss. She has done research in the context of projects on psychological treatment
of refugees, both individually and in families, conducted at the Psychosocial Center for Refugees, UiO.
Nora has been in charge of a collaborative research project under the NUFU programme, between UiO and the
Universidad Centro Americana, Nicaragua in the period of 1996 – 2000. Research done under this project
constituted part of her Ph.d. project - a family therapy project with refugee families conducted in collaboration
with the Department of Psychology and the Psychosocial Center.
At the Norwegian Centre for Traumatic Stress and Violence Studies,
she was head of two projects focusing on mental health in reception centers for asylum seekers,
initiated by the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs. She has also been Norwegian editor of
Nordic Psychology and has published chapters, books and articles in the field of refugees, human rights, clinical
and political psychology.
ELISABETH NG LANGDAL - Executive Director
A human geographer with focus on health and third world development, she also holds a bachelor in media and communication.
In addition to her position at HHRI she is also deputy board director for FIAN Norway (FoodFirst Information and Action Network),
and is a member of the organizing committee for the annual Human Rights and Wrongs Documentary Film Festival held in Oslo. In addition
to run the resource data-base on the consequences of human rights violations on mental health, where gender based violence is a priority area,
she is working on developing a training program together with a resource group of specialists in the field. This program focuses on mental health
and early intervention in persons exposed to severe human rights violations, with special attention on gender based violence against women.
DIANA CAROLINA MONTOYA VANEGAS – Project Coordinator
A Colombian Psychologist with a Master in Latin American Studies of the Stockholm University. Most of her experience has been obtained working in
projects of social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants of illegal groups that were involved in the armed conflict in her home country.
She was successful attendant of the course in Sustainable Development driven by ETH Zürich and MIT among others top global Universities in Slovakia in 2007.
She was also attended the Course in Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration driven by Folke Bernadotte Academy in Stockholm, Sweden in 2011.
Currently she is supporting the HHRI works from the office in Oslo, Norway.
The HHRI Board
MERETE NERGAARD received her PhD in clinical psychology from Pacific Graduate School, California (1985).
Her psychoanalytic training was at the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently she practices psychoanalysis and
psychotherapy in Oslo. Nergaard was cofounder of Oslo Montessoriskole and was active in establishing a program for
teacher training in Montessori pedagogy.
METTE NESLEIN is educated nurse and midwife. She has taken a bachelor degree at the University Of Oslo, with psychology, pedagogic and history of Ideas as combination. She is also educated by the Norwegian Acupuncture High school and has worked the last 16 years as an acupuncturist in Oslo.
NINA RINGNES graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in 1979 and she got her MBA from American
Graduate School of International Management in 1985. Finally she was educated in psycho synthesis (2008) and in creative couple work (2010).
Currently she works as a psychotherapist and with couple counseling in Oslo. She is also involved in investment business and charity foundations.
We welcome any response from users of the web site. Feedback can be send to us by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we hope that we are able to provide you with a service that is useful in your daily work.