Newsletter Index     Boletín 2015

 



NEWSLETTER NO.5 DECEMBER 16TH 2015

Dear friends and colleagues

Introduction of our new project coordinator for the Spanish speaking readers and improvement of our Gender based violence website

We are proud to announce Diana Carolina Montoya as our Project coordinator for our work in the Latin American and Spanish speaking region. Carolina is a psychologist from Colombia, with a Master in Latin American studies from the University of Stockholm. Her thesis focuses on the social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants that were involved in the armed conflict in Colombia. She has also attended a course in Sustainable Development at the ETH Zürich and MIT, in Slovakia in 2007. She also participated in a course in Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration at the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Stockholm, Sweden in 2011. Her main area of responsibility at the HHRI now is being in charge of the work with the GBV manual and adapting it for application in Spanish-speaking countries, maintain the Spanish part of our data search engine and our thematic pages. Carolina is happy to receive any feedback, comments and ideas regarding her engagement with these issues.

We will also in this letter introduce you to our Gender based violence manual – website. This website is concentrated on our manual Mental health and gender-based violence Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict – a training manual”. “On this web site, you can download the manual and have a closer look at the pilots –trainings that we organized prior to the completion of the manual. We have edited the Butterfly- woman story into one continuous story, as well presented the other tools, such as the grounding exercises, the helping the helpers part and ideas as to how you can conduct training in your context. This website is also translated to Spanish. Even though the manual itself, is not translated yet, many of the elements are now in Spanish. You will be able to read the Butterfly woman story, do grounding exercises and hopefully to set up your own training based on this. If you are interested in organizing training at your workplace, in your organization or other relevant contexts, please send us an e-mail and we will provide you with more information and advice, should you want this.

Further reading

Articles, publications and websites that highlight different aspects of Gender based violence

  • HHRI thematic page on Gender based violence
    An extensive selection of links related to Gender Based Violence are gathered at this thematic page. Gender-based violence has become an umbrella term for any harm that is perpetrated against a person’s (woman or man), will, and that results from power inequalities that are based on gender roles.

  • Gender based violence manual web site
    We have gathered a few tips and instructions on how to prepare when you are conducting a training based on the training manual - “Mental health and gender-based violence Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict”. A web site to ease your way into the training manual.

  • IASC Guidelines for Gender- based Violence interventions in humanitarian settings
    New release Guidelines with focus on practical aspects and approach ( f.e. shelter, security, food). Nothing in specific about mental health. - “Prevention of and response to sexual violence in emergencies” The GBV Guidelines have been revised from the 2005 version by an inter-agency Task Team led by UNICEF and UNFPA, and endorsed by the IASC in 2015 (pdf, 334 p.)

  • Engaging men
    Gender equality cannot be achieved without the involvement of men and boys. But change is slowly taking place, and men are increasingly working alongside women to support gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. We have gathered more links on the subject under the headline on our thematic page on GBV.

Facebook

Please check out our Facebook page and like us. On our HHRI face book page we are posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as newsletters and videos.

Upcoming events


We appreciate feedback and comments

The Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is an electronic newsletter launched by HHRI with an aim to give insight to a certain subject in the cross section of our work; human rights violations in war & conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to form the newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have views to share or ideas/suggestions for forthcoming issues. As always we are delighted to receive comments and suggestions for the HHRI newsletter and for the web page. In order to improve our assistance to those working with psychosocial support with persons in situations of conflict, emergency and subjected to human rights violations, we need information from you. We are also interested in spreading news about events and conferences held in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Health and Human Rights Info writes and distributes this newsletter, currently reaching more than 4.100 subscribers, free of charge. If you receive this newsletter for the first time, it is either because someone has recommended that we add your e-mail address to the list of subscribers, or because we believe that you might be interested in some or all of its content. Consider it an offer. If you want to continue to receive this newsletter, you don't need to do anything.

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter about our project, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up by sending us an e-mail.

We wish you a peaceful 2016 with improved conditions for justice and human rights for all.

Sincerely yours

Health and Human Rights Info
Elisabeth Ng Langdal
Executive Director
postmaster@hhri.org
www.hhri.org

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NEWSLETTER NO.4 November 30th 2015

Dear friends and colleagues

Secondary traumatisation – being a good helper

Talking to survivors of trauma also affects the helper. For all helpers empathy is an essential aspect of being a good helper. This is also a source for compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatisation or secondary traumatic stress (STS). How are helpers to manage their own stress? Early recognition and awareness is crucial to be resilient to these symptoms and prevent burnt out.

Awareness of this is important for workers in areas of conflict and disaster, and in extreme environments such as these, people may be more vulnerable to secondary traumatisation. We also know that professionals under this kind of stress may be at risk to perform less efficiently and not perform as they would normally do. Even large organizations that have the resources and knowledge about this particular kind of stress may have reduced capacity to deal with or take care of the affected personnel.

This might be because managers are not adequately trained to spot symptoms, are unprepared for early intervention and prevention, are not equipped to assist, or have poor follow-up procedures. These problems are much more acute for local helpers, who usually have few resources and very little support. All helpers who work closely with traumatised people should take the time to make themselves aware of their own emotional state, and what they need to do to protect themselves from exhaustion while continuing to work with compassion.

Being exposed vicariously to traumatic events, for example by listening to catastrophic testimonies, may generate some of the same trauma reactions that would occur if you were involved in a serious incident. You may struggle to manage your emotions, have problems in your relationships, find decision-making difficult, have physical problems (aches and pains, illnesses), feel hopeless, think your life has no meaning, or experience a collapse in self-esteem.

It is important to develop strategies to cope with situations that might cause vicarious trauma-reactions. What helps you to take your mind off your work or your thoughts? How can you rest your body as well as your mind? Does an activity inspire you or put you in a better mood?

For many local helpers, there may often not be any support or resources at all to deal with this. If possible, meet regularly with other helpers to discuss your experiences and feelings, or do things together. If there are too few helpers in your area to create a support group, find friends and other people you trust with whom you can share your feelings without breaking the confidentiality of the survivors you are helping. On HHRI´s thematic page for HHRI thematic page on helping thelpers we have gathered links that can be useful for all persons engaged in this kind of important but heavy work.

Further reading

Articles, publications and websites that highlight different aspects of helping the helper

  • HHRI thematic page on helping the helpers
    The helpers working in areas of conflict and disaster, and in extreme environments such as these are often trying to solve problems sometimes too overwhelming. They are also just human beings, and although they have not gone through those events themselves, they have to cope with horrible stories and impressions. This will of course leave marks and sometimes they develop severe psychological problems. On this thematic page we have collected a selection of articles high lightening some of these topics.

  • Compassion Fatigue, Secondary PTSD, Vicarious PTSD, Differences - You tube video
    In this webcast Frank Ochberg explains the differences between Compassion Fatigue, Secondary PTSD, burn out, and Caregiver Burden.

  • Manual on human rights monitoring – trauma and self care
    Vicarious trauma refers to the negative reactions that can occur when hearing about someone else’s traumatic experiences. Human rights defenders and officers are at risk of vicarious trauma when they interview victims of human rights violations and hear stories of their suffering.

  • Secondary Traumatic Stress
    Each year more than 10 million children in the United States endure the trauma of abuse, violence, natural disasters, and other adverse events. These experiences can give rise to significant emotional and behavioural problems that can profoundly disrupt the children’s lives and bring them in contact with child-serving systems. For therapists, child welfare workers, case managers, and other helping professionals involved in the care of traumatized children and their families, the essential act of listening to trauma stories may take an emotional toll that compromises professional functioning and diminishes quality of life.

  • Self-Care Assessment Worksheet
    This assessment tool provides an overview of effective strategies to maintain self-care. After completing the full assessment, choose one item from each area that you will actively work to improve.

Facebook

Please check out our Facebook page and like us. On our HHRI face book page we are posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as newsletters and videos.

Upcoming events


We appreciate feedback and comments

The Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is an electronic newsletter launched by HHRI with an aim to give insight to a certain subject in the cross section of our work; human rights violations in war & conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to form the newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have views to share or ideas/suggestions for forthcoming issues. As always we are delighted to receive comments and suggestions for the HHRI newsletter and for the web page. In order to improve our assistance to those working with psychosocial support with persons in situations of conflict, emergency and subjected to human rights violations, we need information from you. We are also interested in spreading news about events and conferences held in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Health and Human Rights Info writes and distributes this newsletter, currently reaching more than 4.300 subscribers, free of charge. If you receive this newsletter for the first time, it is either because someone has recommended that we add your e-mail address to the list of subscribers, or because we believe that you might be interested in some or all of its content. Consider it an offer. If you want to continue to receive this newsletter, you don't need to do anything.

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter about our project, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up by sending us an e-mail.
Sincerely yours

Health and Human Rights Info
Elisabeth Ng Langdal
Executive Director
postmaster@hhri.org
www.hhri.org

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NEWSLETTER NO.3 SEPTEMBER 23rd 2015

Dear friends and colleagues

Health professionals, ethics and serious human rights violations -
Do no harm


By Nora Sveaass - A clinical psychologist, member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Chair of the HHRI Board

The “Hoffman report” published on July 10th this year was a shocking but a very important document. The report was a result of a thorough investigation looking into the many allegations that had been raised with respect to psychologists’ participation in so-called enhanced interrogation in the context of national security in the USA. For many years, terror suspects have been kept deprived of liberty in so-called black sites or in other places of detention where the detainees were deprived of the basic human rights and legal safeguards. Moreover, the concern has been to what extent psychologists have taken part in interrogation and developed ways of interrogating, applying psychological knowledge in an unlawful and unethical way, and why information about psychologists’ involvement was not actively looked into, stopped and sanctioned.

The American Psychological Association (APA) initiated the report, but the work was done in an independent way and published based on an analysis of very large material that had been revised. The report concludes very clearly that there has been a close collaboration between the US Department of Defence (DoD), CIA and the American Psychological Association during the Bush administration. APA has actively taken part in interrogations, including by finding ways of pressuring suspects for the sake of information and national security.

The report refers to a “tailoring” of the APA principles of ethics to conform with the needs of the US DoD. It also refers to a number of ways in which the APA covered these decisions as well as the many attempts at “sugar coating” this with resolutions and documents to still the strong critics and to avoid insight into the actual engagement and abuse.

Health workers’ participation in torture and other forms of serious abuses is unfortunately not something new. Psychologists and doctors tacitly accepted the sterilization laws that were adopted in Germany in 1933, resulting in 350-400 000 persons being sterilized. In addition, there were few protests against the Nürenberg laws of 1935 strictly regulating marriage, so that «German blood» would not be mixed with the blood of other «races». But the most serious was of course the Euthanasia programme implemented between 1940 – 1941 where around 70 000 adult psychiatric patients and ca. 5 000 intellectually disabled children were killed. The really scaring point is that this was put through practically without protests. But, at the Nürenberg trials in 1947, 15 out of 23 doctors who were charged were found guilty and seven were sentenced to death.

Abuse of psychiatry as a tool for persecution of persons in opposition has had a long story in the former Soviet Union, and many dissidents were silenced after wrongly having been diagnosed as mentally ill. In 1971 Vladimir Bukovsky provided a comprehensive report about this abuse to a number of psychiatrists in Europa and USA and disclosed the arguments used when forcedly hospitalizing political dissidents. In 1972 it became known that a Russian psychiatrist, dr Gluzman had been imprisoned for 10 years because he had actively documented the abuse of psychiatry. This situation was discussed at the meeting in World Psychiatric Association (WPA) in Honolulu in 1977, where this was actively condemned and an international committee was established in order to investigate this situation.

Under the military dictatorships in Latin America between 1970 and 1990 it was a well-known fact that health workers participated on the side of the oppressors and that doctors assisted in falsifying death and birth certificates so that death by torture could be masked and children born in captivity could be illegally adopted to families close to the dictators. In addition, there are allegations also that health workers participated in designing and carrying out torture. But on the other hand, nobody was so active and strong in the documenting, protesting and bringing into light what was going on. Their active condemnation of abuse as well as strong voices against impunity and for accountability for those responsible, was heard globally and their strong position on this may well have contributed to international justice for crimes against humanity. Today there are trials ongoing in Argentina, Peru and Colombia. In particular in Argentina, the responsible are sentenced to life prisons. Those affected by the violence have likewise been able to tell and to hear, and many have received reparation, despite the difficulties also surrounding this measure.

During the last years, there has been a growing engagement among health professionals concerning human rights and the principles of ethics. A number of attempts have been made to establish the principles of human rights as a basis for professional ethics. This must be seen as important steps to counteract that professionals, whose main objective is to work for health, well-being, and respect for physical and mental integrity of persons, engage in violations, destruction and abuse. The European Federation of Psychological Associations voted in July in favour of including human rights principles in the so-called meta-code of ethics, for the professional organizations ethical codes.

So, back to the Hoffman report. Many raised the question whether the report would be published in full and unedited or what would happen to it. We know that that it was published immediately at completion, and all the important and very concerning details are in the report. The allegations as to psychologists engagement had been many, over a long time, and well founded. But all attempts at doing something with this problem were met with negative comments, even scorn.

There is no doubt today that the US administration under Bush in fact violated human rights and now, it is also documented that the APA formed part of this. Torture became part of interrogation of terror-suspects after 9/11 and many were kept in places where no rights were respected. The report by the US Senate from 2014, documented this, and now the recent report has described psychologists’ role in these violations. The greenlighting by Donald Rumsfeld to «water-boarding», create fear by playing on phobias, and stressed-positions, as well as the redefining of torture in the so-called «torture memos» signalled a policy in clear violation of the international absolute prohibition of torture, and the non-derogable right not to be tortured. Furthermore, the argument that a «lex specialis» would justify impermissible acts during interrogation was clearly described as unacceptable by the UN Committee against Torture, in 2006.

Health professionals must be very aware of the rights of persons, must be informed about human rights, what these entail and what they actually mean on the ground. This must include a clear ethical position where no order from any superior justifies torture or ill-treatment. Also where reporting on violations observed or intended is part of the ethics, and were whistle-blowing is something that must happen when colleagues or others are in violations with the human rights. The unacceptable participation and contribution of the APA in interrogation must teach us a very important lesson. Our US colleagues, who for long have spoken about this publically, but to a lot of deaf ears, may be our best advisors as to what should be done to prevent this from happening again.

All professionals have a responsibility to engage in order both to avoid harm from being done, and to strengthen respect and fulfilment of the internationally agreed upon and adopted human rights. Both those relating to social, economic and cultural rights and those relating to civil and political rights . It is also important with national and international collaboration between health professionals to ensure that rights are respected and enjoyed. This must be given stronger priority by the organizations, associations and networks to which we are affiliated. The civil society voice that health professionals is part of, plays an important role in the global struggle against violence and injustice, and in promoting human rights and dignity.

Further reading

Articles, publications and websites that highlight different aspects of health workers, ethics and torture

  • HHRI thematic page on Ethics
    In all health care work, and particularly in work with persons exposed to injustice and human rights violations, a clear awareness of ethical codes, standards and principles is quite necessary. The knowledge and clarity about ethical and human rights principles will strengthen the involvement of health professionals in human rights violations, and fortify their actions to prevent such violations. It is in order to strengthen knowledge about these principles, that we include a thematic page on ethics.

  • HHRI thematic page on Torture
    Torture in any form and for any reason has been banned by international law, but it is still practiced on a million people each year around the world. Survivors of torture are found everywhere. Victims of torture and their families need rehabilitation to make it possible for them to re-establish control over their lives.

  • The final Hofman report
    The APA Board of Directors engaged attorney David Hoffman of the law firm Sidley Austin in November 2014 to conduct an independent review of whether there was any factual support for the assertion that APA engaged in activity that would constitute collusion with the Bush administration to promote, support or facilitate the use of "enhanced" interrogation techniques by the United States in the war on terror.

  • The Hoffman Report: Background & Introduction
    In November 2014, the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association engaged our Firm to conduct an independent review of allegations that had been made regarding APA’s issuance of ethical guidelines in 2002 and 2005, and related actions. These ethical guidelines determined whether and under what circumstances psychologists who were APA members could ethically participate in national security interrogations…… By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
  • Facebook

    Please check out our Facebook page and like us. On our HHRI face book page we are posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as newsletters and videos.

    Upcoming events

    We appreciate feedback and comments

    The Health and Human Rights Newsletter is an electronic newsletter launched by HHRI with an aim to give insight to a certain subject in the cross section of our work; human rights violations in war & conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to form the newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have views to share or ideas/suggestions for forthcoming issues. As always we are delighted to receive comments and suggestions for the HHRI newsletter and for the web page. In order to improve our assistance to those working with psychosocial support with persons in situations of conflict, emergency and subjected to human rights violations, we need information from you. We are also interested in spreading news about events and conferences held in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

    Health and Human Rights Info writes and distributes this newsletter, currently reaching more than 4.300 subscribers, free of charge. If you receive this newsletter for the first time, it is either because someone has recommended that we add your e-mail address to the list of subscribers, or because we believe that you might be interested in some or all of its content. Consider it an offer. If you want to continue to receive this newsletter, you don't need to do anything.

    If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter about our project, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up by sending us an e-mail.
    Sincerely yours

    Health and Human Rights Info
    Elisabeth Ng Langdal
    Executive Director
    postmaster@hhri.org
    www.hhri.org

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    NEWSLETTER NO.2 June 24th 2015

    Dear friends and colleagues

    “If you are blind what are your options in an Earthquake?”

    What happens to persons with disabilities in emergencies, war and conflict situations? The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) – article 11

    “Persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected in disaster, emergency, and conflict situations due to
    inaccessible evacuation, response (including shelters, camps, and food distribution), and recovery efforts”.

    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2013

    Around 15% of the world’s population has a disability. According to the UNHCR, the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people who were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013 was 51.2 million. This means that at least 4.5 million of the refugees have a disability. The numbers are probably higher since wars and disasters are continuously increasing the amount of persons with disabilities.

    This is why it is important to highlight the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, and especially article 11, regarding situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies that claims:

    “States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters”.

    Among the most vulnerable are children with disabilities , whose right to assistance – ranging from health to education – is often overlooked in humanitarian response. As a result, they are left more vulnerable to a life of poverty and abuse, and denied their rightful place in helping strengthen and rebuild their communities and countries.

    Women and girls with disabilities are at large at higher risk to being exposed to gender based violence. How can we address violence against women and girls with disabilities, and emphasis the need for a holistic approach aimed at eliminating discrimination against women and girls with disabilities? Is it possible to promote their autonomy and addressing specific risk factors that expose them to violence?

    In war and conflict situations, who will be the ones to make sure that the rights of people with disabilities are fulfilled? Who is responsible when the State fails to fulfill its duties? What happens with human rights in conflict situations, and how do such situations affect the most vulnerable groups in society?

    The Conclusion on refugees with disabilities and other persons with disabilities protected and assisted by United Nations Refugee agency (UNHCR) migh give us some answers. The Conclution Recognice that host States, which are often developing countries, have limited resources and face various challenges in providing such services and facilities; reaffirming, therefore, the international community and UNHCR's role to assist States in fulfilling these responsibilities, in the spirit of international cooperation and burden sharing.

    Further reading

    Articles, publications and websites that highlight different aspects of human rights and disabilities

    • Definition of disabilities
      Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.

    • International norms and standards relating to disability part v. persons with disabilities and multiple discrimination - rights of special groups
      Disabled persons who have to leave their countries find themselves in particularly disadvantaged situations. Disabled refugees are an extremely vulnerable group and are, therefore, in need of special attention. However, there are no legal instruments at an international level, as such, to protect the rights disabled refugees. Disabled refugees can only refer to scattered provisions of conventions, instruments and international humanitarian law.

    • Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs
      For the millions of Americans who have physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities, emergencies such as fires, floods and acts of terrorism present a real challenge. The same challenge also applies to the elderly and other special needs populations. Protecting yourself and your family when disaster strikes requires planning ahead. This booklet will help you get started.

    • Disability Inclusion: Policy to Practice -
      This report presents the approaches, positive practices and ongoing challenges to operationalizing disability in¬clusion across UNHCR and its partner organizations, and provides lessons and recommendations for the wider humanitarian community.

    • The United Nations office of the High Commissioner of Human Right´s website on the Human rights of persons with disabilities

    • Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Guidance for human rights monitors
      The adoption and the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol challenge such attitudes and mark a profound shift in existing approaches towards disability. In the Convention, the focus is no longer on a perceived “wrongness” of the person, with the impairment seen as a matter of deficiency or disease. On the contrary, the Convention views disability as a “pathology of society”, that is, as the result of the failure of societies to be inclusive and to accommodate individual differences. Societies need to change, not the individual, and the Convention provides a road map for such change.)
    • Thematic study on the issue of violence against women and girls and disability
      It analyses national legislation, policies and programs for the protection and prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities. It highlights the remaining challenges in addressing the root causes of violence against women and girls with disabilities and incorporating women and girls with disabilities into gender-based violence programs. The study concludes with recommendations on legislative, administrative, policy and programmatic measures to address violence against women and girls with disabilities, with emphasis on the need for a holistic approach aimed at eliminating discrimination against women and girls with disabilities, promoting their autonomy and addressing specific risk factors that expose them to violence.


    • Disabilities Among Refugees and Conflict-affected Populations
      Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as global desk research, the report maps existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identifies gaps and good practices and makes recommendations on how to improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons with disabilities. It also includes a Resource Kit geared toward UN and nongovernmental organization (NGO) field staff working with displaced persons with disabilities.

    • Women with Disabilities: The Forgotten Peace Builders
      Women across the world are standing their ground against political exclusion, but more must be done to ensure that a gender-sensitive approach is used, that all women have the opportunity to participate in building the rule of law and strengthening democracy, and that all women have a voice in decision-making processes post-conflict.
    • Facebook

      Please check out our Facebook page and like us. On our HHRI face book page we are posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as newsletters and videos.

      Upcoming events

      We appreciate feedback and comments

      The Health and Human Rights Newsletter is an electronic newsletter launched by HHRI with an aim to give insight to a certain subject in the cross section of our work; human rights violations in war & conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to form the newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have views to share or ideas/suggestions for forthcoming issues. As always we are delighted to receive comments and suggestions for the HHRI newsletter and for the web page. In order to improve our assistance to those working with psychosocial support with persons in situations of conflict, emergency and subjected to human rights violations, we need information from you. We are also interested in spreading news about events and conferences held in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

      Health and Human Rights Info writes and distributes this newsletter, currently reaching more than 4.300 subscribers, free of charge. If you receive this newsletter for the first time, it is either because someone has recommended that we add your e-mail address to the list of subscribers, or because we believe that you might be interested in some or all of its content. Consider it an offer. If you want to continue to receive this newsletter, you don't need to do anything.

      If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter about our project, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up by sending us an e-mail.

      Health and Human Rights Info
      Elisabeth Ng Langdal
      Executive Director
      postmaster@hhri.org
      www.hhri.org

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      NEWSLETTER NO.1 April 29th 2015

      Dear friends and colleagues

      We have gathered some links for relief workers working with survivors of the earthquake in Nepal

      “This natural disaster will create untold mental health consequences – not just for the survivors who live and work in the communities and villages that were in the center of earthquake. This is truly a global natural and human disaster. Yet, the major and continuing task to address the disaster’s aftermath will fall on volunteers and professionals living and working in extremely difficult conditions in Nepal. Their jobs will remain the most difficult and most wrenching, long after the television news teams are gone and the world’s attention moves to new events and occurrences. Mental health professionals and volunteers, of all the relief workers, have some of the hardest and longest lasting work ahead of them”.

      General information on the situation in Nepal

      Guidelines for relief workers

      • HHRI thematic page on disaster
        A webpage with useful links to guidelines on disaster. By definition is a disaster a tragedy of a natural or human-made hazard that negatively affects society or environment. Often developing countries suffer much greater costs when a disaster hits because these countries are much more vulnerable, and have less appropriate disaster management measures. Earthquakes, floods, volcano eruptions and man-made disasters, can cause – in addition to all damages on the infrastructure – significant psychological and social suffering to the population that has been affected. The psychological and social impacts of disasters may be acute in the short term, but they can also undermine the long-term mental health and psychosocial well-being of the affected population.
      • Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
        IASC 2008
        These guidelines reflect the insights of practitioners from different geographic regions, disciplines and sectors, and reflect an emerging consensus on good practice among practitioners. The core idea behind them is that, in the early phase of an emergency, social supports are essential to protect and support mental health and psychosocial well-being (191 pages pdf).
      • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network gives you information on how to help children in a situation of earthquake
        These pages covers the impact on Children and Families with headlines as Description, Readiness, Response, Recovery regarding earthquakes.
      • Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide
        National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for PTSD
        an evidence-informed modular approach for assisting people in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism: to reduce initial distress, and to foster short and long-term adaptive functioning. It is for use by disaster responders including first responders, incident command systems, primary and emergency health care providers, school crisis response teams, faith-based organizations, disaster relief organizations
      • Guidelines for gender-based violence interventions in humanitarian settings IASC 2005 We also know that in times of crises and disaster there is an increased level of violence, in particular in gender based violence (GBV) . GBV is a serious problem in the context of complex emergencies and natural disasters where normal structures of society are seriously affected and alternative safeguards not yet in place. Women and children are often targets of abuse, and are the most vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and abuse simply because of their gender, age, and status in society. Women and girls that are displaced from their home will often experience multiple traumatic experiences.
      • Managing stress in humanitarian workers - Guidelines for Good Practice
        For mental health workers empathy is an essential aspect of good help. This is also a source for compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatisation or secondary traumatic stress (STS). Early recognition and awareness is crucial to be resilient to these symptoms. Awareness of this is important for workers in areas of conflict and disaster, and in extreme environments such as these, people may be more vulnerable to secondary traumatization. We also know that professionals under this kind of stress may be at risk to perform less efficiently and not perform as they would normally do. You can dowload the guidelines ( English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Albanian) at the bottom of the page.
      • Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
        These guidelines reflect the insights of practitioners from different geographic regions, disciplines and sectors, and reflect an emerging consensus on good practice among practitioners. The core idea behind them is that, in the early phase of an emergency, social supports are essential to protect and support mental health and psychosocial well-being.
      • Managing Traumatic Stress: Tips for Recovering From Natural Disasters
        APA Help Center (2005)
        When a natural disaster affects a community, the resulting trauma can reverberate even with those not directly affected by the disaster.
        Disasters of this type can be sudden and overwhelming. In addition to the often catastrophic toll on lives and property, a disaster like a tsunami(tidal wave), hurricane or fire can have an impact on those who have lost loved ones and even those who feel more vulnerable as a result of learning about the disaster.
      • Inter-Agency Guiding Principles on Unaccompanied and separated children
        Children separated from their parents and families because of conflict, population displacement or natural disasters are among the most vulnerable. Separated from those closest to them, these children have lost the care and protection of their families in the turmoil, just when they most need them. They face abuse and exploitation, and even their very survival may be threatened. They may assume adult responsibilities, such as protecting and caring for younger sisters and brothers. Children and adolescents who have lost all that is familiar – home, family, friends, stability – are potent symbols of the dramatic impact of humanitarian crises on individual lives.

        We appreciate feedback and comments

        The Health and Human Rights Newsletter is an electronic newsletter launched by HHRI with an aim to give insight to a certain subject in the cross section of our work; human rights violations in war & conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to form the newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have views to share or ideas/suggestions for forthcoming issues. As always we are delighted to receive comments and suggestions for the HHRI newsletter and for the web page. In order to improve our assistance to those working with psychosocial support with persons in situations of conflict, emergency and subjected to human rights violations, we need information from you. We are also interested in spreading news about events and conferences held in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

        Health and Human Rights Info writes and distributes this newsletter, currently reaching more than 4.300 subscribers, free of charge. If you receive this newsletter for the first time, it is either because someone has recommended that we add your e-mail address to the list of subscribers, or because we believe that you might be interested in some or all of its content. Consider it an offer. If you want to continue to receive this newsletter, you don't need to do anything.

        If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter about our project, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up by sending us an e-mail.

        Sincerely yours

        Health and Human Rights Info
        Elisabeth Ng Langdal
        Executive Director
        postmaster@hhri.org
        www.hhri.org

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