About Health and Human Rights Info
Health and Human Rights Info aims at making professional experiences and resources more easily accessible to health
professionals, particularly those 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 in the Internet related to such issues:
health, conflict, community intervention etc. We try to bring most of this material together and through a process of
evaluation, analysis and editing in order to provide a reliable and comprehensive source of information. Selected
data and information aims to be of practical use and support in situations where more specialized services, within
health care, are not available and care provision is essential. The main focus in the materials that we present on these
resource pages is focused on mental health. HHRI also develops training material to support health workers or those
engaged as humanitarian or relief work in different emergency settings.
The training manualMental health and gender-based violence
Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict
an assistance to women exposed to rape and other forms
of sexual violence in conflic. The Training Manual was finalized and published in September 2014, and revised in 2016.
The manual is now also availabe in Arabic,
The oraganisation is funded by the 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 the 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`s main objective is 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, as a 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 Silvia Gurrola Bonilla
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 its GBV Manual.
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, Carla Filizola Rodrigues and Carolina Montoya.
NORA SVEAASS - Chair of the Board
Nora is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo (UiO).
Nora Sveaass chairs Health and Human Rights Info. From 2005-2013 she was a member of the UN Committee against Torture,
she is currently 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 UiO’s Psychosocial Centre
for Refugees. She has done research in the context of projects on psychological treatment
of refugees, both individually and in families. In addition, Nora was 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
Elisabeth is a human geographer with focus on health and developing counties, in addition
she holds a bachelor in media and communication. From 2008 -2016 she was also the deputy board
director for FIAN Norway (Food First 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 GBV 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 GBV against women.
SILVIA GURROLA BONILLA –Project Coordinator
Silvia is a pedagogue with a post degree in psychotherapy with over 19 years of experience in managing,
coordinating, and providing technical assistance to Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS programs in Latin America,
the Caribbean, Africa and Eastern Europe. Silvia specializes in gender issues, particularly sexual and gender-based
violence. She is the author of the pedagogical novel La Dignidad Encarnada, in which she addresses various issues related
to gender violence from a human rights perspective. As Project Coordinator for HHRI, Silvia helps update the database, assist,
producing newsletters in English and Spanish, and is a co-facilitator of training on the use of the HHRI Gender Violence Manual.
The HHRI Board
MERETE NERGAARD Merete 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 Mette 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 Nina 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.
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