Screening and assessing immigrant and refugee youth in school-based mental health programs
Dina Birman, Wing Yi Chan 2008
According to the 2000 Census, 1 of every 5 children in the United States is a child of immigrants – either a child who is an immigrant or has at least one immigrant parent. While most children who experience mental health problems have limited access to help, children who have migrated to this country, especially under difficult circumstances, face particular challenges (25 pages pdf).
World Mental Health Day
The World Federation for Mental Health
World Mental Health Day was observed for the first time on 10 October 1992. It was started as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health by the then Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. The day is officially commemorated every year on October 10th.
2003: systematic repression of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe
In August 2003, the Observatory for the protection of humain rights defenders, joint programme of the International federation for human rights (FIDH) and the World organisation against torture OMCT) mandated a mission in Zimbabwe, in order to evaluate the situation of human rights defenders in the country. 2003 was marked by the fierce repression human rights defenders have had to face under the increasingly authoritarian regime.
(12 pages, .pdf)
34th session of the Human Rights Council: List of Reports
Here you can search for different Human Rights Council reports by session. Several of the reports are translated to Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, French, English and Russian.
A General Review of the Psychological Support and Services Provided to Victims of Trafficking
International Organization for Migration - Kosovo (2003)
This study is the outcome of an empirical analysis performed by the psychologist Diana Tudorache based on the psychological counseling provided to the victims of trafficking assisted by the IOM Kosovo Counter-Trafficking return and Re-integration Program from September 2001 to March 2003.
(29 pages, .pdf)
A novel bio-psycho-social approach for rehabilitation of traumatized victims of torture and war in the post-conflict context: a pilot randomized controlled trial in Kosovo.
Shr-Jie Wang, et al. 2017
Background: Some evidence showed that multidisciplinary rehabilitation in Western countries is effective for treating war-related trauma, but it remains unclear whether this approach is applicable to civilians living in resource-poor countries affected by war. In 2012–14, Danish Institute against Torture (DIGNITY) conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT), in partnership with Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT), to examine the effects of ultidisciplinary intervention among victims of torture and war in Kosovo.(BioMedCentral open access)
A remedy for torture survivors in international law: interpreting rehabilitation
The medical Foundation 2010 Ellie Smith, Nimisha Patel, Leanne MacMillan.
In order to render the right to rehabilitation meaningful, there needs to be a coherent basis on which to articulate and measure it, and this requires an interdisciplinary approach which embraces both a clinical and legal understanding. This report explores how remedies in international law are understood, with specific focus on the right to rehabilitation (35 pages, pdf).
Abolition of Capital Punishment and Prevention of Torture
Statement on the Occasion of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Warsaw.
Access to Justice for Male Victims of Sexual Violence; Focus on Refugees in Uganda
Meg McMahon, Legal Aid Board.
Sexual violence against men has garnered increasing publicity in recent years but still remains extremely under-researched and under-reported. This paper will examine the challenges facing male victims of sexual violence. The paper will look at the broad international framework, including definitions of sexual violence and international jurisprudence in the area as well as generally looking at how the term sexual or gender based violence has come to be associated with violence against women (webpage).
Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (Article 91)
A Party to the conflict which violates the provisions of the Conventions or of this Protocol shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.
Addressing the Special Needs of Survivors of Torture
Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies (2006)
The aim of all of Spirasi's programmes is to address some of the unmet health and social needs of the asylum seekers arriving in Ireland and to facilitate those who are granted refugee status to integrate into Irish society. Within Spirasi, the Centre for the Care of Survivors of Torture works with refugees and asylum seekers who have been tortured or suffered other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to try to achieve as full a recovery as possible from the effects of that abuse. This is achieved by providing psycho-social support and specific therapies in as culturally and linguistically appropriate a way as possible (11 pages, .pdf).
Adolescents and the tsunami
UNICEF 2005, On 30 December 2004, four days after the tsunami struck, the Voices of Hope:oices of Youth website became a space where young people could build a support group for each other and voice opinions about the direction relief efforts should take. The discussion forum that resulted lasted for three months and became known as ‘Tsunami terror’, a name that was suggested by the young people themselves.
Adoption and the rights of the child in Guatemala
ILPEC for UNICEF 2000
This study arose out of the need to learn more about the current child adoption process and to analyze the level of compliance or noncompliance with respect to child rights. It is designed to help provide support for the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala by identifying those elements most essential to the formulation of a law on adoption, one consistent with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Guatemalan Constitution. (62 pages, pdf)
Advances in Disaster Mental Health and Psychological Support
American Red Cross (2006)
This book is divided into four sections. Section I presents the theoretical bases for mental health and psychosocial support activities following a major disaster. Section II provides the reader with six specific examples of how mental health and psychosocial needs of affected populations have been addressed in Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Iraq, the Philippines, Afghanistan, and Palestine. Section III moves from mental health and psychiatry into a community model of psychosocial support. These sections present a transition from psychiatry to psychosocial support in India and are followed by two case studies; one from Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India, and the other addressing the tsunami response during the acute to early reconstruction phases of the disaster cycle in the south and western provinces of Sri Lanka. Section IV proposes tools for monitoring and evaluation of community-based psychosocial support needs and interventions.
(191 pages, .pdf)
Afghanistan: The Risks of International Psychosocial Risk Management
The psychological state of conflict or
disaster-affected populations has become a prominent concern in international humanitarian policy. Reports often highlight refugees and internally displaced persons as ‘traumatised’, ‘psychologically scarred’ or ‘indelibly marked’ by their experiences. In complex emergencies mass post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is now expected, so psychosocial programmes are becoming standard features, and psychosocial work a core part of international humanitarian responses. However, there has been surprisingly little analysis of their assumptions or evaluation of their efficacy.
(12 pages, .pdf)
Alternate Report to the Third Periodic Report Submitted by the Colombian State to the Committee against Torture
Comisión Colombiana de Juristas (2003)
Since the Committee against Torture studied Colombia’s report and issued its final comments in 1996, the situation of human rights and humanitarian law in this country has deteriorated dramatically in the past seven years. This fact has been acknowledged by international protection organizations that have indicated the widespread, systematic nature of violations of human rights in Colombia.
(75 pages, .pdf)
Alternative report on torture and ill-treatment of prisoners in social rehabilitation centres
This thematic report aims to provide an analysis of the current practices of torture and ill-treatment in Ecuador as they are experienced by PRIVA in our work with rehabilitation of torture victims. From the statistics and cases in this report, it is clear that torture and ill-treatment is still a prevalent practice committed against persons in custody of either the police or the social rehabilitation centres. Further, impunity for such crimes is upheld due to a reluctance with the judicial authorities to conduct prompt, effective, independent and impartial investigations when credible allegations surface. Furthermore, torture is often not reported due to a lack of right awareness, insufficient financial capacity and fear of reprisals on the side of the victims (32 pages, PDF).
Annual Report on torture in Georgia
Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture Victims, RCT/EMPHATHY (2006)
Despite the fact that Georgia joined the European Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and the Georgian Constitution forbids torture and other acts of violence, according to trust-worthy data torture is widely practiced in Georgia by law-enforcement structures.
(78 pages, pdf)
Annual report of the public defender of Georgia-The situation of human rights and freedoms in Georgia 2012
Office of public defender of Georgia 2012
The Report covers a wide range of Human Rights and Freedoms and provides an overview of the situation with respect
to protection of civil-political, economic, social and cultural rights in Georgia. The Report portrays general trends with respect to Human Rights in the country and specific facts of violation of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The analysis of the studied cases and applications, regular monitoring performed by Public Defender’s National
Prevention Mechanism of Georgia reveals that protection of the rights of individuals kept at the Penitentiary establishments still remains as one of the key problem (432 pages, PDF).
Appraisal of psychosocial interventions in Liberia
Jeannette Lekskes, Susan van Hooren & Jos de Beus
This article presents the methodology and results of a study on the effectiveness of two psychosocialinterventions targeting female victims of war related and sexual violence in Liberia. One intervention provided counseling, the other offered support groups and skill training. Qualitative research suggests that the participants of both interventions were positive with regard to the help provided (Intervention 2007, Volume 5, Number 1, Page 18 – 26).
Assessing Trauma in Sierra Leone
By MSF (2000)
This report is the product of close co-operation and hard work by a multinational team motivated to bear witness to the anguish suffered by the Sierra Leone population.
(17 pages, .pdf)
Assessing Trauma in Sri Lanka
This report is based on a mental health survey among the population of the Welfare Centres (WFCs) in Vavuniya (Sri Lanka). The Welfare Centres were established 10 years ago as temporary facilities to house those that were to be resettled in other parts of Sri Lanka.
(28 pages, .pdf)
Assistance to victims of sexual violence in Congo Brazzaville
By Lyne Mikangou, IPS (2001)
A new rehabilitation centre is offering medical and psychological assistance to girls and women who were sexually brutalised during the Republic of the Congo`s savage civil wars. "This is an opportunity for these women to find a place to work out their pain," says Raymond Janssen, a UNICEF representative in the Congo.
Association of Combatant Status and Sexual Violence With Health and Mental Health Outcomes in Postconflict Liberia
Kirsten Johnson et al. 2008.
Former combatants in Liberia were not exclusively male. Both female and male former combatants who experienced sexual violence had worse mental health outcomes than noncombatants and other former combatants who did not experience exposure to sexual violence.
Asylum Seekers from Algeria
Medical Foundation (1998)
The following report on torture survivors from Algeria who have sought asylum in the United Kingdom was written and presented to the British Parliament by Dr Michael Peel, a consultant occupational physician at the Medical Foundation.
(also in german)
Attacking the Root Causes of Torture Poverty, Inequality and Violence
Edited by Thomas E. McCarthy OMCT
OMCT established a full programme to focus on the socio-economic dimensions of torture, arbitrary detentions, summary executions, enforced disappearances and other forms of illtreatment. OMCT has also established specific programmes addressing violence against women, violence against children and violence against human rights defenders (pdf, 297 pages).
Azerbaijan - Impunity for Torture
Human Rights Watch (1999)
Physical abuse and torture are rampant in police custody in Azerbaijan. Police routinely beat detainees-whether suspected of petty common crimes or political offenses-to coerce them into confessing or giving testimony.
BASIC Ph - The Story of Coping Resources
Mooli Lahad 1993 The C.S.P.C Israel
Coping skills can be understood as resources that are available and that the person is capable of utilising in challenging situations (Word doc 11 pages).
Because I am a Girl: the State of the World’s Girls reports
The public images of war focus almost exclusively on young men – armed forces, suicide bombers, young men throwing stones at soldiers. The fact that girls remain invisible casts a long shadow on their involvement in war, particularly as the changing nature of war and conflict means that increasingly, civilians are affected as war is played out closer to people’s homes (pdf, 185 pages).
Beyond statistics – sharing, learning and developing good practice in the care of victims of torture
BAfF German Association of
Psychosocial Centres for Refugees and Victims of Torture. ed. Elise Bittenbinder
We want to show that behind the anonymous figures are people –
many of them survivors of torture trying to start a new life after horrific experiences that have changed their lives and left them with scars that might never heal. Some of them need help and rehabilitation in order to be able to dare to trust in themselves and others again and to find a new sense in life. If we want data, it's not primarily to measure the level of "threat" which the numbers of refugees pose to our societies, but to help us provide better services for them (108 pages, pdf.
Broken promisesEgypt’s military rulers erode human rights
Amnesty International (2011)
In recent months, scores of Egyptians have been summonsed to appear before military prosecutors, following their public criticism of the armed forces on-line, on television or in print. Among those summonsed have been political and human rights activists, bloggers, candidates for public office, and broadcasters and journalists. Some have been let go after questioning. Others have faced charges, detention and unfair trials before military courts (63 pages, pdf).
Building a Conceptual Framework for Psychosocial Intervention in Complex Emergencies
By Alison B Strang & Alastair Ager, Intervention 2003,
Reporting on the work of the Psychosocial Working Group. (A Joint Academic-Humanitarian Agency Initiative regarding response to the Psychosocial Needs of Refugees and War-affected Populations)(6 pages,pdf)
Building back better
UNICEF 2005. One year after the tsunami, UNICEF recounts its role in providing immediate relief and ongoing care to the thousands of families and children affected. Helping bring children back to school, providing immunization services, and assisting with registration, placement and reunification of the separated are but a few of the activities UNICEF undertook in the past 12 months. The report provides country-by-country breakdowns that include expenditure, plans and challenges, while highlighting children's stories and key partners in relief and recovery.
Burundi: Child soldiers - the challenge of demobilisation
Amnesty International (2004)
Military leaders have fuelled Burundi`s 10 year armed conflict by recruiting and abducting children, destroying their childhood and their future. Children, including children under the age of 15, have been cynically used as a cheap and expendable tool of war.
Burundi: No protection from rape in war and peace
Amnesty International (2007)
The most commonly reported form of sexual violence in Burundi is rape, and is committed by both state and non-state actors, including law enforcement officials and military officers.
Rape of women and girls is prevalent in the home and in the community and the problem is widespread throughout Burundi. Between 2004 and 2006 an average of 1,346 women a year reported their cases to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) ) (pdf, 30 pages).
Burundi: Rape - the hidden human rights abuse
Amnesty International (2004)
Like all human rights abuses in Burundi, rape has become an entrenched feature of the crisis because the perpetrators - whether government soldiers, members of armed political groups, or private individuals - have largely not been brought to justice.
Cambodia: Pol Pot`s Legacy of Violence
Youth Advocate Program Interantional (2000)
This study focuses on the impact of the Khmer Rouge`s genocidal conflict within Cambodia on children and the long-term implications for Cambodian society.
(9 pages, .pdf)
Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights - Torture in police custody in Cambodia
By Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) (2003)
This briefing paper examines the nature, extent and possible causes of torture in police custody in Cambodia during 2001 and 2002. It is hoped that the information in this paper will be used to raise awareness among government officials and the general public to the situation of torture in police custody; to illustrate the need for the alternative methods of criminal investigation by police officers; and to encourage regular independent monitoring of police stations to reduce the practice of torture (20 pages. pdf).
Case studies of torture committed by the police in Sri Lanka
Asian Human Rights Commission (2002)
There are a huge number of torture cases in Sri Lanka every year. Below are a few that the Asian Human Rights Commission has selected to illustrate the epidemic. The following cases are just a small fraction of the total number, however, they are useful as they all suggest a pattern, as follows.
Caught in the Middle: Mounting Violations Against Children in Nepal´s Armed Conflict
This report combines information collected from a variety of sources to document violations against
children and adolescents in the context of the armed conflict in Nepal.
Chechnya: No Means to Live
This report addresses issues related to the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights in Chechnya, along with the particular situation faced by internally displaced persons in Ingushetia.
(103 pages, .pdf)
Child Development And Post-traumatic Stress Disorder After Hurricane Exposure
By Alan M. Delamater, PhD, and E. Brooks Applegate, PhD (2000)
This study examined child development in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after hurricane exposure. The study subjects were 175 3 to 5-year old minority children enrolled in Head Start programs. Children were evaluated 12 and 18 months after Hurricane Andrew struck south Florida. Mothers were interviewed concerning symptoms of PTSD and completed a questionnaire regarding their children’s development. Results indicated that 16.5% of exposed children met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for PTSD at 12 months, and 11.6% had PTSD at 18 months post-hurricane. Children who had PTSD at 12 months were more likely to be delayed in their development at 18 months, and those with PTSD at 18 months similarly were more likely to be delayed. These findings indicate that children with PTSD are at risk for delays in their overall development.
Child Protection in the Philippines - A Situational Analysis
Save the Children 2011
A situation analysis on Child Protection in the Philippines commissioned by the Save the Children Child Protection Initiative (CPI ) that could be used to guide the development of child protection interventions under CPI's priority areas, which include: Children without appropriate care; Child protection in emergencies; and Child labour. The CPI initiative aims to upgrade the capacities of local authorities and municipalities to improve the wellbeing of disadvantaged children and increase the level of knowledge of policies and programmes that address critical child issues, such as abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence (pdf, 86 pages).
Child Soldiers and the West Asian Crisis
By Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (2000).
Children have been used as soldiers by all warring factions throughout 20 years of resistance and civil war in Afghanistan. Two generations of Afghan children have been raised in a highly militarised ‘kalashnikov culture’: in schools both inside the country and refugee camps, textbooks and teaching methods have used images of tanks, guns and bullets in mathematics and reading classes. Some informal Islamic schools or madrasas, have emerged as centres for indoctrination and recruitment of young fighters.
Child Soldiers in the Philippines
By Merliza Makinano, International Labor Affairs Service-Department of Labor & Employment (2002)
The study focuses on the armed groups in the Philippines, particularly the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and New People`s Army (NPA), reportedly using child soldiers. It discusses the different recruitment patterns among these groups, the profile of the recruits, the tasks and roles that the children portray, and the different circumstances besetting the children leading to the involvement with the armed groups.
(12 pages, .rtf)
Child Soldiers. The shadow of their existence
By War Child (2007)
This report outlines the know problems of child soldiers and the different forms of recruiting. The report zooms in on the Colombia situation and the motives with which Colombian children join these armed groups. Finally there's a list of actions that can be taken to change this situation and the contributions of War Child in these actions (44 pages, pdf).
Child soldiers and Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration in West Africa
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers 2005 This report describes current child soldier and DDR programs, as well as gaps, funding needs and overlaps identified by those organizations. It further outlines proposals for information sharing and more effective advocacy work on child soldier issues in the sub-region. Ideas for new research are also proposed. this report is not an evaluation or compilation of best practices, but an attempt to share knowledge about the organizations working on DDR in the region, giving an overview of programs being undertaken by child protection agencies in West Africa. It does not intend to give a complete picture and many relevant and important programs and activities are not mentioned here simply because it was not possible to meet every stakeholder (31 pages, pdf).
Child soldiers as zones of violence in The Democratic Republic of Congo: three cases on medico-legal evidence of torture
Kitwe Mulunda Guy, IRCT 2009
This article sets medico-legal light on torture of three former child soldiers by comparing torture methods, consequences of torture and medical observations. It is focused on these child soldiers as representatives of the many abuses of children as soldiers in armed groups (pdf, 8 pages).
Child soldiers: understanding the context
British Medical Journal, Somasundaram (2002)
We need to ask why children join armies. If we are to prevent children fighting we need to understand the conditions under which children become soldiers and work to improve these conditions. One such context, that of Sri Lanka, may shed some light on the issues. (4 pages, .pdf)
Child victims of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Dan O’Donnell and Norberto Liwski 2010.
This paper addresses the legal framework and medical and psychological impacts of torture on children. Part One, Legal Framework, begins by showing the three characteristics that legally distinguish torture from child abuse, by definition: Torture is committed by an agent of the state or someone acting with the encouragement or acquiescence of the state. Torture is committed for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession; to intimidate, coerce or punish the immediate victim or a third person; or as part of discrimination. Torture must cause severe pain or suffering. Because of these differences, torture should be treated differently to child abuse, in particular with regard to law enforcement. The fact that torture is committed by a representative of the state justifies a stronger response. That it involves severe pain or suffering is another reason that the response must be proportionate.(pdf, 43 pages)
Childhood Trauma Remembered
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (1997)
Over the past several years, the topic of memories of childhood trauma, particularly childhood abuse, has led to considerable debate among professionals and nonprofessionals alike.
(27 pages, .pdf)
Children Affected by Armed Conflict in South Asia: A review of trends and isues identified through secondary research
Refugee Studies Centre Boyden, de Berry, Feeny & Hart (2002)
This document is based on research conducted in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka between January and April 2001.
(75 pages, .pdf)
Children Affected by Armed Conflict/ Child Soldiers
Youth Advocate Program International
Child Soldiers provides an overview of the conditions and treatment of the estimated 250,000 children who fight in wars around the world. This thematic page describes the impact soldiering has on children and steps being taken to end this abuse.
Children affected by armed conflict: UNICEF actions
More than a decade ago, in September 1990, the Convention on th Rights of the Child (CRC) entered into force. Today the Convention, the most universally ratified human rights instrument, is the standard against which we measure the success or failure of our efforts to serve the best interests of children.
(148 pages, .pdf)
Children and armed conflict
UN General Assembly Security Council, 2009 The report includes information on compliance with applicable international law to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and other grave violations being committed against children affected by armed conflict;1 information on progress made in the implementation of the monitoring and reporting mechanism and action plans to halt the recruitment and use of children, as well as progress made in mainstreaming children and armed conflict issues in United Nations
peacekeeping and political missions
Children and war: Risk, resilience, and recovery
By Werner, W. (2012)
The psychological suffering of children during war is an often overlooked, yet crucial, outcome of armed conflict. Many children have lived through conflict, political violence, displacement and starvation. This paper examines some of the issues surrounding the psychological costs of war. (7 pages, .pdf)
Children in Emergency and Crisis Situations
Commission Of The European Communities, 2008. A framework for community humanitarian actions covering children in crisis situations with focus on separated and no accompanied children, child soldiers and education in emergencies. This general framework will be implemented according to the specificities of each crisis situation taking into account the available resources and the presence of competent partners in the field.
Children in Ingushetia
War Child (2000)
In the year 2000 two War Child projectcoordinators travelled to Ingushetia to visit the new War Child projects there. With the fall of Grozny at the beginning of 2000, thousands of Chechnyans were forced to flee to the neighbouring country of Ingushetia.
Children of Rwanda`s Genocide
New York Times (1999)
Humanitarian organizations working in the region now report that Rwanda`s children have been the most vulnerable to the poverty and exploitation which followed the ethnic conflict. The massacres have left several hundred thousand children either orphaned or separated from their parents. A Unicef report estimates that 700,000 children - 18 percent of Rwanda`s 4.2 million children - still live in difficult circumstances.
Children of war: the real casualties of the Afghan conflict
Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta BMJ (2002)
This article explores the origin of the current Afghan crisis and describes the impact of a quarter of a century of incessant conflict on Afghan children (4 pages, pdf).
Children`s Rights in Switzerland
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Switzerland
(55 pages, .pdf)
Children`s rights in Paraguay
Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Republic of Paraguay - 28th Session - Geneva, 24 September - 12 October 2001 (64 pages, pdf)
Children’s risk, resilience, and coping in extreme situations
Jo Boyden, Gillian Mann 2005
Recent research in the social sciences and experience in dealing with children in stressful situations, are providing new insights that challenge much conventional wisdom about how to assist affected children. Because it is increasingly clear that many notions of childhood and of childhood vulnerability, development, and well-being are contextually constructed, serious doubt is being cast on the relevance of many traditional prescriptions for protecting children, especially interventions imposed from outside the child’s social and cultural context. (24 pages, pdf)
Collective trauma in northern Sri Lanka: a qualitative psychosocial-ecological study
Daya Somasundaram (ijmhs) 2007
Complex situations that follow war and natural disasters have a psychosocial impact on not only the individual but also on the family, community and society. Just as the mental health effects on the individual psyche can result in non pathological distress as well as a variety of psychiatric disorders; massive and widespread trauma and loss can impact on family and social processes causing changes at the family, community and societal levels.
Colombia`s War on Children
Guerrilla groups, paramilitaries, government armed forces and national police all perpetrate violence and abuses against civilians, including children and adolescents. These are infractions of international humanitarian law and human rights, yet these crimes are often committed with a high level of impunity. Young people have been killed and maimed, victimized by sexual violence, lured and forced into the ranks of combatants, used as informants, marked as targets and driven from their homes.
(47 pages, .pdf)
Combating Female Genital Mutilation in Europe
Sophie Poldermans 2006.
A Comparative Analysis of Legislative and Preventative Tools in the Netherlands,France, the United Kingdom, and Austria, Every year, 3 million girls and women are subjected to the harmful traditional practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Worldwide, the number of girls and women who have undergone this practice is estimated to lie between 100 and 150 million. FGM is not only an important issue in Africa, the Middle-East, and Asia where it has been traditionally practised, but due to the arrival of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from these countries to the West, to Europe, North America, and Australia, FGM has also become a Western concern. (109 pages, pdf)
Comparison of Mental Health Between Former Child Soldiers and Children Never Conscripted by Armed Groups in Nepal
Jama 2008, Brandon A. Kohrt et al. Former child soldiers are considered in need of special mental health interventions. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the mental health of child soldiers compared with civilian children in armed conflicts.
Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture : Norway. 2008.
By UNHCR (2008)
The fifth periodic report of Norway was submitted on 5 February 2008. It conformed fully with the requirements laid down in the Committee`s reporting guidelines. It provided information, article by article, on new measures to implement the Convention taken since the submission of its last report and answered questions raised during the discussion of the fourth periodic report. The Committee also thanks the delegation for its oral information and its frank and precise replies to the questions raised by members of the Committee.
Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture : Norway. 2012
By UNHCR (2012)
Concluding observations on the combined sixth and seventh
periodic reports of Norway, adopted by the Committee at its
forty-ninth session (29 October to 23 November 2012). It conformed fully with the requirements laid down in the Committee`s reporting guidelines. It provided information, article by article, on new measures to implement the Convention taken since the submission of its last report and answered questions raised during the discussion of the fourth periodic report. The Committee also thanks the delegation for its oral information and its frank and precise replies to the questions raised by members of the Committee.
Conclusion on Women and Girls at Risk
Recalling that the protection of women and girls is primarily the responsibility of States, whose full and effective cooperation, action and political resolve are required to enable UNHCR to fulfil its mandated functions; and that all action on behalf of women and girls must be guided by obligations under relevant international law, including, as applicable, international refugee law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Conflict and health: War and mental health: a brief overview
Derek Summerfield, British Medical Journal (2000)
Psychological trauma is not like physical trauma: people do not passively register the impact of external forces but engage with them in an active and social way.
(4 pages, .pdf)
Conflict, Disaster, Homicide - Mental health reform in post-conflict areas: a policy analysis based on experiences in Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo.
Albert K. De Vries1, Niek S. Klazinga2 (2005)
This policy analysis provides insight into the ongoing process of mental health reform and the difficulty of sustaining such reform in post-conflict areas. It is based on experiences in Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia.
(6 pages pdf)
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Article 14)
(viii) Each State party shall ensure to victims of torture an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation (article 14).
Coping With Crisis - No. 1 March 2006
The Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (2006)
Coping With Crisis - No. 1 March 2007
Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (2007)
Coping With Crisis - No. 2 August 2006
Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (2006)
Coping With Crisis - No. 2 June 2005
The Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (2005)
The newsletter primarily aims at informing national societies and other interested parties on RC/RC psychosocial support related activities, be it particular projects, assessments or evaluations. It is also a tool to inform each other about key events that need to be highlighted and/or announced.
(12 pages, .pdf)
Coping With Crisis - No. 3 December 2006
Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (2006)
Coping with Crisis - No. 3 October 2005
The Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (2005)
The newsletter primarily aims at informing national societies and other interested parties on RC/RC psychosocial support related activities, be it particular projects, assessments or evaluations. It is also a tool to inform each other about key events that need to be highlighted and/or announced.
(12 pages, .pdf)
Counselling Afghanistan Torture and Trauma Survivors
Nooria Mehraby STARTTS 2002
The development of services to meet the needs of Afghan refugees, most of whom are traumatised by years of war and internecine violence, requires a sophisticated blend of counselling strategies and culturally-informed pragmatism. This article outlines the approach that Mehraby has found most useful in dealing with this extraordinary client population (10 pages).
Creating Befriending Relationships With Survivors of Torture and of War
Adrienne S. Chambon, Susan McGrath, Ben Zion Shapiro, Mulugeta Abai, Teresa Dremetsikas, Suzanne Dudziak.
By Canadian Center for Victims of Torture (CCVT 2001)
Survivors of torture and of war have experienced a fracture in human relationships resulting from violations of their human rights. How can services contribute to building the capacity for reconstructing relationships and reclaiming community ties with this population? This article reports on the results of an exploratory participatory study conducted between the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) and two academic social work faculties that documented the successful practices of the Volunteer Befriending Program at CCVT.
Cross-Cultural Assessment Of Trauma-Related Mental Illness
P Bolton, L Ndogoni. CERTI (2000)
1.To create an instrument adaptation and validation process which can be used by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others to quantitatively assess the mental health burden of trauma at the population level across cultures and situations.
2. To use this instrument and process to assess part of the mental health burden of trauma on a civilian population in Rwanda.
3. To use the resulting data to assess the need for interventions, form the baseline for an intervention process, and (at a future date) to plan the form of such an intervention.
4. Current methods to assess mental health across cultures require resources and time not available to NGOs and many of the populations they serve, and are therefore research tools only. In this study we have attempted to develop a method useful for NGOs because it requires only training and existing resources.
Cultural Considerations in Trauma Psychology Education, Research, and Training
Sandra Mattar 2010.
The fields of trauma psychology and cultural psychology have rarely crossed paths within the context of mainstream psychology and psychiatry. Although clinical trauma psychology has acknowledged relevance of the ethical principle of respect for differences in trauma treatment, this has not so far motivated a systematic effort to improve our understanding of how culture is intertwined with our cognitive and emotional responses to trauma. As the field of disaster mental health has come to greater prominence in recent years, it has confronted trauma psychology with how profoundly the forms of both trauma and resilience are, as well as how ineffective traditional paradigms are in transcultural work (pdf, 6 pages).
Cultural aspects of trauma
Lisa Francesca Andermann,2002. This paper reviews some of the recent research and literature on the identification, diagnosis and treatment of psychological trauma and trauma-related illnesses in different cultures. The paper also explores effects of culture on the expression of symptoms and modes of communicating psychological distress.
Culture and PTSD: Lessons from the 2004 Tsunami
Crystal Slanzi, 2011. It was assumed that survivors of the Tsunami in Sri Lanka would develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an emotional illness that impairs functioning and often requires professional treatment. PTSD may, but does not always, occur following exposure to a catastrophic, dangerous or life-threatening event, such as war, a violent attack or a natural disaster. The development of PTSD is often impacted not only by the nature and severity of the trauma, but also by factors such as previous exposure to traumatic events (such as repeated abuse) or on-going exposure to violence.
Dealing With the Past: Survivors’ Perspectives on Economic Reparations in Argentina
Sveaass et Sønneland (2015)
The experiences of persons affected by gross human rights violations during the dictatorship in Argentina, with regard to economic reparations for their suffering and losses, were explored. Thirty-seven participants were interviewed, 35 of whom were survivors and/or family members of persons seriously affected by the violence during the period from 1976 to 1983. Economic reparations form part of the Argentine state’s efforts to deal with the atrocities of the past, with such reparations constituting one of the transitional justice mechanisms implemented (pdf, 16 pages).
Dealing with the tremendous problem of torture in India
Article 2 (2003)
A group of human rights defenders from across India gathered at Thrissur, Kerala, India, from 15¡V18 August 2003 to discuss torture in India. The deliberations centred on the need to launch a campaign in India for ratification of the Convention against Torture. This is the concluding statement of the gathering.
Declaration of cooperation - Mental health of refugees, displaced and other populations affected by conflict and post-conflict situations
Conflicts subject people to frequent and gross human rights violations. This Declaration is intended to serve as a working instrument. It provides a framework to achieve increased consensus and cooperation in operational models, including policy strategies, and programs. It is aimed at promoting evidence-based, holistic and community-based approaches that are effective and which can be implemented rapidly.
Denial and silence’ or ‘acknowledgement and disclosure’
Margriet Blaauw and Virpi Lähteenmäki 2002
Disappearances are a worldwide problem. Over the last few decades the world has been shocked by accounts of tens of thousands of people who are known to have disappeared in Cambodia, Latin America, Iraq, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Chechnya and others.
Forced disappearance have an effect on the individual, his/her family and the community as a whole. The problems that family members of disappeared persons face are complex and can be overwhelming (17 pages, PDF).
Development of a multi-layered psychosocial caresystem for children in areas of political violence
Mark JD Jordans et al.2010
Few psychosocial and mental health care systems have been reported for children affected by political violence in low and middle income settings and there is a paucity of research-supported recommendations. This paper describes a
field tested multi-layered psychosocial care system for children (focus age between 8-14 years), aiming to translate common principles and guidelines into a comprehensive support package (12 pages, pdf)
Disabilities among Refugees and Conflict-Affected Populations
Womens refugee commission-2009
Reveals a disparity between refugee camps and urban areas: in camps there is a greater awareness about the needs of the disabled and better services than in urban environments, where refugees with disabilities are unable to access services offered by the host government and virtually no one is providing special assistance to them. The Women’s Refugee Commission also found greater discrimination and stigmatization towards the mentally disabled population; assistance programs, when available, tend to focus on those with physical and sensory disabilities (pdf, 76 pages).
Disorders of Extreme Stress: The Empirical Foundation of a Complex Adaptation to Trauma.
Van der Kolk et al. Journal of Traumatic Stress 2005.
Children and adults exposed to chronic interpersonal trauma consistently demonstrate psychological disturbances that are not captured in the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis.found that victims of prolonged interpersonal trauma, particularly trauma early in the life cycle, had a high incidence of problems with regulation of affect and impulses, memory and attention, self-perception, interpersonal relations, somatization, and systems of meaning. This raises important issues about the categorical versus the dimensional nature of posttraumatic stress, as well as the issue of comorbidity in PTSD (11 pages, pdf).
Do No Harm: Challenges in Organizing Psychosocial Support to Displaced People in Emergency Settings
Michael G. Wessells, 2008.
Psychosocial assistance in emergencies plays an important role in alleviating suffering and promoting well-being, but it is often a source of unintended harm. A prerequisite for ethically appropriate support is awareness of how psychosocial programs may cause harm. This paper underscores the importance of attending to issues of coordination, dependency, politicization of aid, assessment, short-term assistance, imposition of outsider approaches, protection, and impact evaluation ( pdf, 25 pages).
Effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention on psychological distress among women with a history of gender-based violence in urban Kenya: A randomised clinical trial
R.A. Bryant et al. 2017
Gender-based violence (GBV) represents a major cause of psychological morbidity worldwide, and particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although there are effective treatments for common mental disorders associated with GBV, they typically require lengthy treatment programs that may limit scaling up in LMICs. The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of a new 5-session behavioural treatment called Problem Management Plus (PM+) that lay community workers can be taught to deliver (PDF, 20 pages)
Effects of war: moral knowledge, revenge, reconciliation, and medicalised concepts of "recovery"
By Derek Summerfield (2002)
Western health professionals and the public have a misguided image of war and its aftermath that is often far removed from the actual experience of non-westernised societies. A British psychiatrist looks at the effects of war and at the belief that the emotional reactions of victims of war should be modified.
Egypt - violence against women study
Somach, AbouZeid, USAID 2009
The purpose of the literature review was to build on the base of existing knowledge and to avoid duplication of efforts. In addition to the literature summarized here, the Egyptian experts involved in the study also surveyed available research in their own areas of expertise, again to build on existing knowledge and to avoid overlapping efforts. The review of research continued throughout the study process, culminating in this literature review. The review concludes by identifying gaps in research, many of which are addressed by the elements of the larger violence against women study.
(55 pages, .pdf)
End impunity - Justice for the victims of torture
By Amnesty (2001)
This report is one of a series of publications issued by Amnesty International as part of its worldwide campaign against torture.
(76 pages, .pdf)
Engendering forced migration: victimization, masculinity and the forgotten voice
Hebah H. Farrag 2009
The article discusses taboos as female combatants and male-male rape in order to carve out a better map for treatment in the realm of psycho-social interventions, with a focus on refugee studies as an international arena dedicated to understanding and protecting victims of violence and persecution (17 pages, pdf).
Ethical Considerations for Researching Violence Against Women
In many ways, researching violence against women is similar to researching other sensitive topics. There are issues of confidentiality, problems of disclosure, and the need to ensure adequate and informed consent. As the previous quote from an interviewer illustrates, however, there are aspects of gender-based violence research that transcend those in other areas because
of the potentially threatening and traumatic nature of the subject matter. In the case of violence, the safety and even the lives of women respondents and interviewers may be at risk (PDF, 10 pages).
Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror
Institute on Medicine as a Profession 2013. The report is based on two years of review of records in the public domain by a 19-member task force. The report details how DoD and CIA policies institutionalized a variety of interventions by military and intelligence agency doctors and psychologists that breach ethical standards to promote well-being and avoid harm (pdf, 154 pages).
Ethnocultural aspects of PTSD: an overview of concepts, issues, and treatments
Anthony J. Marsella, 2010
The article offers an overview discussion of ethnocultural aspects of PTSD, with special attention to major conceptual issues, clinical considerations, and therapy practices. The historical circumstances leading to the widespread acceptance of PTSD among conventional mental health professionals, and the subsequent criticisms that emerged from scholars, humanitarian workers, and ethnocultural minorities are presented as an important background to the current controversial status of the concept, especially with regard to arguments regarding the ethnocultural determinants of PTSD (pdf, 10 pags).
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) - Annual General Report on the CPT`s activities
By the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. The CPT is required to draw up every year a general report on its activities, which is published. The General Report, as well as previous general reports and other information about the work of the CPT, may be obtained from the Committee`s Secretariat or from its website.
Evaluating Asylum Seekers: An Interview with Dr. Arno Vosk
Rachel Webber 2013
In the third installment of “Evaluating Asylum Seekers,” Sampsonia Way speaks to Dr. Arno Vosk, an advisor to a medical student clinic at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I find it incredible that people who have endured such suffering in their home countries should find it so difficult to get refuge in the United States.”
Evaluating the gender content of reparations: lessons from South Africa
Beth Goldblatt, 2006. The transitional justice mechanism in South Africa,that operated between 1995 and 1998—was not seen by women’s organizations as a priority in the years following the first democratic elections. Instead, women focused their energies on the task of building a new society. It is possible that the TRC was seen as a somewhat backward-looking project, when so much had to be done around reconstruction and social transformation(pdf. 41 pages).
Evaluation of psychological support for victims of sexual violence in a conflict setting: results from Brazzaville, Congo
Sarah Hustache1 et al. 2009. Little is known about the impact of psychological support in war and transcultural contexts and in particular, whether there are lasting benefits. This article present an evaluation of the late effect of post-rape psychological support provided to women in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
Expanding the Definition of Torture
Human Rights Dialogue (2003)
Historically, the popular understanding of torture has helped to maintain a gender-biased image of the torture victim: it is the male who pervades the political and public sphere and thus it is the male who is likely to be targeted by state violence and repression.
Families of Missing Persons in Nepal. A study of their needs
This report sums up the findings of extensive research on the needs of families of missing persons in Nepal. The objective of the report is both to give a voice to the families of persons unaccounted for in relation to the 1996-2006 armed conflict in Nepal, and to provide stakeholders in the peace process under way in Nepal since 2006 with information giving them a better understanding of the families' needs.(48 pages, pdf)
Family therapy sessions with refugee families; a qualitative study
Bjørn et al. 2013
Due to the armed conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s many families escaped to other countries. The main goal of this study was to explore in more detail the complexity of various family members’ experiences and perceptions from their life before the war, during the war and the escape, and during their new life in Sweden. There is insufficient knowledge of refugee families’ perceptions, experiences and needs, and especially of the complexity of family perspectives and family systems. This study focused on three families from Bosnia and Herzegovina who came to Sweden and were granted permanent residence permits. The families had at least one child between 5 and 12 years old.
Fear of rape: The experience of women in Northeast India
Of all forms of violence, rape is considered the most cruel and inhuman form of torture. The fear of rape is common to all women, however, among Northeast Indian women this fear is heightened by the situation in which they live.
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Information about female genital mutilation by WHO.
Five essential elements of immediate and mid–term mass trauma intervention: empirical evidence
Hobfoll et. al.Psychiatry 70(4) 2007 Given the devastation caused by disasters and mass violence, it is critical that intervention policy be based on the most updated research findings. However, to date, no evidence–based consensus has been reached supporting a clear set of recom-mendations for intervention during the immediate and the mid–term post mass trauma phases. We identified five empirically supported intervention principles that should be used to guide and inform intervention and prevention efforts at the early to mid–term stages. These are promoting: 1) a sense of safety, 2) calming, 3) a sense of self– and community efficacy, 4) connectedness, and 5) hope (33 pages, pdf).
Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Paradise Lost or Pragmatism?
Brandon Hamber (2007)
In the past decade there has been an increasing focus on forgiveness and reconciliation in societies coming out of conflict. The concepts were previously the domain of philosophers and theologians but have become integrally linked to questions of political transition. There has been a shift from focusing on the investigative aspects of the truth-telling process and cataloging human rights abuses to considering their social impact. Issues such as healing, reconciliation, apology, acknowledgment, and forgiveness (to a lesser degree) have become central to the transitional justice debate.
(9 pages pdf)
Forgotten fighters: Child Soldiers in Angola
Human Rights Watch (2003)
This report is based on research conducted in Angola in November and December 2002. Human Rights Watch conducted interviews in the capital, Luanda, and in the two provinces of Bié and Moxico.
(29 pages .pdf)
From Counselling to Psychosocial Development
Olsen, Haagensen, Madsen, Rasmussen RCT 2006
This anthology showes that counselling has different meanings for different organisations. Some even questioned the clinical use of counselling in a South context. The publication also emphasised that a critical perspective is necessary when discussing relevance and impact of a particular intervention vis-à-vis other forms of interventions. The practice descriptions are seen as a necessary requisite to be able to assess the possible effects of the counselling treatment/interventions at a later stage (pdf. 120 pages).
From Counselling to Psychosocial Development
ed. Olsen et al. 2006 Dignity
In 2004, RCT (Dignity) adopted its new policy: RCT Challenges and Targets in a Challenging World. This policy puts more emphasis on the research and other knowledge-generating activities increasingly linking future interventions with knowledge driven activities. The challenge has been to direct this emphasis to the partnership co-operation, learning from the partner organisations’ practices for the benefit of themselves and for other organisations - without diverting the attention from the main objective of these organisations - to improve the rehabilitation practices and coverage for survivors of torture and organised violence, and for the prevention of torture (pdf, 120pages).
Gender and Torture Conference report
Amnesty and Redress 2011.
The conference considered successes in advocacy and litigation under the legal framework on torture: the recognition of certain forms of harm inflicted by both state and non-state actors including rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation and denial of reproductive rights as torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the practical effect this recognition has had in actual cases to hold states to account for their failure to prevent such violations, and to provide a remedy to victims (pdf, 57 pages).
Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence
By Cynthia Cockburn, World Bank (1999)
Abstract from the conference "Gender, Armed Conflict and Political Violence" -June 10th & 11th 1999, The World Bank,
Washington, DC, USA.
Gross human rights violations and reparation under international law: approaching rehabilitation as a form of reparation
The strengthening of international criminal law through an increased focus on the right to reparation and rehabilitation for victims of crimes against humanity is an important challenge to health professionals, particularly in the field of trauma research and treatment. A brief outline of developments within international law and justice is presented, with a focus on the right to reparation including the means for rehabilitation. The active presence of trauma-informed health professionals is a priority. The issues raised within the context of states’ obligations to provide and ensure redress and rehabilitation to those subjected to torture are discussed, and in particular how rehabilitation can be understood and responded to by health professionals.
Group therapy model for refugee
Ibrahim A. Kira, Asha Ahmed, Vanessa Mahmoud & Fatima Wassim, 2010.
This article looks at the Center for Torture and Trauma Survivors’ therapy group model for torture survivors and describes two of its variants: The Bashal group for African and Somali women and the Bhutanese multi-family therapy group. Group therapies in this model extend to community healing. Groups develop their cohesion to graduate to a social community club or initiate a community organization (6 pages, pdf).
Hardiness and transformational coping in asylum seekers: the Afghan experience
Akram Omeri, Christopher Lennings, Lyn Raymond, University of Sydney (2004).
Understanding trauma and the individual’s responses to it requires a complex approach. Hardiness refers to the characteristic response some people make to adversity and involves the concept of transformative response. In this context adversity is something that can be viewed as a learning experience, a challenge rather than a catastrophe. Response to adversity becomes a commitment rather than simply being reactive, and the individual’s sense of control over outcomes remains positive, rather than emphasising
that person’s vulnerability (9 pages, pdf).
Health Challenges for Refugees and Immigrants
Refugee Reports, Ariel Burgess et al 2004. This Refugee Reports focuses on refugee health in the United States, beginning with an article about the general healthcare challenges facing refugees and immigrants. John Poon provides a case study of Afghan refugees trying to gain access to necessary health services. José Quiroga discusses the physical and mental health needs of torture victims. Several reports feature the important mental health issues facing newcomers as well as refugee-specific information about vaccinations and civil surgeons (pdf, 20 pages).
Health implications of torture in Pakistan
Mahboob Mehdi jme 1991
Torture is interwoven in the socio-economic matrix of Pakistan. It is seen and used as an essential instrument to maintain the survival of the system. Change in governments may bring a change in the amount of torture carried out but the institutions of torture
remain intact (5 pages, pdf).
Health needs of asylum seekers and refugees
British Medical Journal (2001)
People who are seeking asylum are not a homogeneous population. Coming from different countries and cultures, they have had, in their own and other countries, a wide range of experiences that may affect their health and nutritional state. In the United Kingdom they face the effects of poverty, dependence, and lack of cohesive social support. All these factors undermine both physical and mental health.
Helping Children Cope With War
By Naomi Drew, M.A. (2003)
War has entered the consciousness of America and is now on the minds of people young and old. How do we talk to our children about war in ways that make sense? How do we empower our children and give them hope?
Helping children overcome disaster trauma through post-emergency psychosocial sports programs
Robert Henley, SAD 2005
The primary aim of this report is to review possible theoretical underpinnings and practical methods utilized by psychosocial sports programs in helping children traumatized in disaster. The method of assessment will be to examine existing research and documentation on the subject of psychosocial sports interventions with youth traumatized by disasters, and to draw upon the learning examples from currently active psychosocial sports programs in the field (33 pages, pdf).
Hope Betrayed? A Report on Impunity and State-Sponsored Violence in Nigeria
The last three years of elected civilian government in Nigeria have witnessed an alarming spate of violence and egregious human rights violations. In over fifty separate and documented incidents, over ten thousand Nigerians have reportedly been victims of extrajudicial executions at an average of over 200 executions perincident.
(197 pages, .pdf)
Hope in the Shadows: Male Victims of Sexual Assault in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Miya Cain, Harvard Kennedy School. 2014
As a result of ongoing conflict, poverty and instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congolese men and women have been subjected to various forms of sexual violence by warring rebel militia, government forces, and noncombatants. Most humanitarian aid, money, and international attention supports female victims of sexual violence, but male victims are largely left in the shadows. Simplified narratives of gender violence often define men as “villains” and women as “victims.” This narrative aligns with traditional conceptions of gender roles; however, the oversimplification often leaves male victims overlooked by policy responses designed to address sexual violence.
Household exposure to violence and human rights violations in western Bangladesh (I): prevalence, risk factors and consequences.
Shr-Jie Wang, Jens Modvig, Edith Montgomery, RCT 2009
The ruling parties in Bangladesh have systematically used violence against political opponents and criminals. It is essential to 1) determine the magnitude and burden of organized crime and political violence (OPV) and human rights violations in the affected community, and to 2) identify the risk factors and key indicators for developing effective health intervention and prevention measures.
The level of violence and human rights violations is high. The affected population suffers from violence-related injuries and traumas, which could be a factor contributing to poverty. Victimisation is not random (pdf, 18 pages).
Household exposure to violence and human rights violations in western Bangladesh (II): history of torture and other traumatic experience of violence and functional assessment of victims.
Shr-Jie Wang et al. 2009 RCT and BRCT,
Organised crime and political violence (OPV) and human rights violations has been present in Bangladesh since 1971. This study describes the patterns of OPV and human rights violations in a disturbed area of Bangladesh and assesses the physical, emotional and social functioning of victims. A detailed picture of characteristics of the victimisation is presented. The participants showed poor emotional well-being and reduced physical capacity. The results indicated that the simple and rapid method of assessment used here is a promising tool that could be used to monitor the quality and outcome of rehabilitation. (pdf, 15 pages)
How disrespect for economic, social and cultural rights can lead to torture and other forms of violence
OMCT 2010 There are a number of ways in which violations of economic, social and cultural rights can lead to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and other forms of violence.
Human Rights & Mental Health in Peru
Mental Disability Rights International & Asociación pro Derechos Humanos (2004)
This report assesses Peru’s compliance with national and international standards for the treatment of persons with mental disabilities, highlights successful community-integrated programs in Peru, and provides recommendations for reform of mental health and social service systems.
(47 pages, .pdf)
Human Rights & Mental Health: Hungary
Mental Disability Rights International (1997)
In this publication the reader will find a sincere, objective, and sobering report on the conditions of a large group of people with chronic mental disabilities. More generally, the report provides an overview of the current state of mental health care in Hungary.
(177 pages, .pdf)
Human Rights and Health - The Legacy of Apartheid
AAAS Science and Human Rights Program
and Physicians for Human Rights (1998)
This report was prepared at the request of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It shows how, during the apartheid period, the leadership of the health sector in South Africa subordinated ethical and human rights obligations to the racist practices and political repression of the state.
Human Rights, Health and Poverty Reduction Strategies
The booklet aims to provide policy-makers with guidance, suggestions and real life examples to help demonstrate how human rights can and have been applied to pro-poor health policies and initiatives, and how they can enhance the effectiveness of a Poverty Reduction Strategies (pdf, 64 pages).
Human Rights: Focus on Torture
Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rrehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT) (2004)
Public survey in Tiblisi, Georgia. Primary purpose of the survey was to explore the issue of torture - its incidence, public awareness of, attitudes to, and opinions regarding the surrounding topics and actors. (67 pages, .pdf)
IDMC Internal Displacement Monitoring Center
Norwegian Refugee Council project. Objectives: (1) To promote the use of the Guiding Principles on internal displacement. (2) To make information available on IDP issues and country-specific situations. (3) To support the capacity of the international community to better respond to situations of internal displacement.
Identifying and Responding to Urban Refugees’ Risks of Gender-Based Violence Men and Boys, Including Male Survivors
Women´s Refugee Commission (WRC). 2016
Throughout 2015, WRC conducted a research in urban settings, the first phase of a multi-year project to improve the humanitarian community’s understanding of and response to GBV risks in urban contexts. Quito, Ecuador; Beirut, Lebanon; Kampala, Uganda; and Delhi, India, were chosen because they are host to diverse refugee populations, have different policy environments for refugees, and are at different stages of humanitarian response. The project looked separately at the GBV risks of different urban refugee subpopulations: women; children and adolescents; LGBTI individuals; persons with disabilities; and male survivors of sexual violence (Pdf, 16 pages).
Impact of armed conflict on children
By UNICEF (1996)
Focus on the ground-breaking report by Graça Machel which drew global attention to the devastating impact of armed conflict on children. Millions of children are caught up in conflicts in which they are not merely bystanders, but targets. Some fall victim to a general onslaught against civilians; others die as part of a calculated genocide. Still other children suffer the effects of sexual violence or the multiple deprivations of armed conflict that expose them to hunger or disease. Just as shocking, thousands of young people are cynically exploited as combatants. (78 pages, .pdf)
In some refugee groups, more than one in three men are said to have suffered sexual violence
Katie, Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation. May, 2014
Sexual violence against men is one of the least told aspects of war. Yet men and boys are victims too of abuse that is frequently more effective at destroying lives and tearing communities apart than guns alone. It can take the form of anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration, gang rape, sexual slavery and the forced rape of others. It is so taboo that few survivors have the courage to tell their story. Besides feeling ashamed and afraid of being ostracised, many victims dare not challenge powerful myths about male rape in their cultures, experts say. A common belief is that a man who is raped becomes a woman.
Internally Displaced Persons from the Prizren Area of Kosovo: Living Conditions, Mental Health and Repatriation Issues
International Aid Network (IAN) (2001)
Throughout and immediately after the formal end of the Kosovo conflict and cessation of NATO bombardment of FR Yugoslavia in 1999, a great number of Serbs and other non-Albanians from Prizren and other regions of Kosovo were forced to flee for refuge to other parts of the country. On the report of respective estimates of certain international organizations (UNHCR, ICRC) about 200, 000 persons were forcibly displaced into the parts of Serbia outside Kosovo (50 pages,doc).
International Human Rights Law and Sexual Violence Against Men in Conflict Zones
Tom Hennessey and Felicity Gerry, Halsbury´s Law Exchange.
Sexual violence occurs in times of peace and of war. It takes place within committed relationships and between strangers, between people of any gender and sexuality, and for reasons that can be complex. However, despite common misconceptions, it is widely accepted amongst academics and charities that rape and other forms of sexual offences are usually about dominance and control rather than sexual gratification; a form of physical violence that has the power to fundamentally undermine the victim’s confidence and self-identity. Because of this, sexual violence is a common feature of war zones. As armies or militias struggle to assert their dominance, civilians within contested areas often find themselves subjected to widespread sexual abuse. The result is fear, humiliation and trauma.
Intervention - International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict
INTERVENTION is a peer-reviewed journal for mental health professionals, counsellors, psycho-social workers and community workers working with victims of armed conflict. Intervention publishes articles relevant for professionals working in areas of armed conflict, but also for those working with refugees from areas of armed conflict in Europe, Australia, North-America etc. Some articles are free to read others you have to pay for.
The goal of this project is to collect information from individual organizations in a data base and to give access to this information via Internet. In this data base you will find Associations, NGO’s, State Institutions, international Institutions and dedicated private persons, who fight for the rights of children and young people.
Justice Denied: The experiences of 100 torture surviving women of seeking justice and rehabilitation
Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, 2009.
The case histories of 100 women survivors of torture from 24 countries who sought asylum in the United Kingdom were reviewed in order to assess their experiences of torture and ill treatment and of accessing justice and rehabilitative help and support in their countries of origin. (Pdf, 32 pages)
Learning to live after Beslan
By International Federation of Red Cross (2004)
The International Federation and Russian Red Cross appeal includes psychological support as the main element of the programme for the victims in Beslan. “After a crisis, so many questions remain out of focus. The state looks and acts globally often omitting individual approaches,” says Federation psychological consultant Vacheslav Otchuk, who recently visited Beslan.
Liberia is Not Just a Man Thing: Transitional Justice Lessons for Women, Peace and Security
Karen Campbell-Nelson, Ed.D.2008
Liberia provides an interesting case study of the role women have played in peace building in the West African context. Liberian women played an integral role in bringing an end to armed conflict (pdf, 31 pages).
Lightening the Load of the Parental Death Penalty on Children
Oliver Robertson and Rachel Brett 2013
One of the little-asked questions in debates over the death penalty is what
happens to the children of the offender. The arrest, sentencing and (potential)
execution of a parent affect children greatly, but they receive little consideration and less support (pdf, 62 pages).
Long-term consequences of falanga torture
Kirstine Amris, Søren Torp-Pedersen, Ole Vedel Rasmussen, 2009.
The aim of this article is to present
an overview of the literature on falanga,mainly focusing on the clinical aspects and to highlight possible lesions caused by this specific form of torture that may influence the overall management of the condition.
Male Rape and Human Rights
L. Stemple, Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights, Columbia University. 2009
For the last few decades, the prevailing approach to sexual violence in international human rights instruments has focused virtually exclusively on the abuse of women and girls. In the meantime, men have been abused and sexually humiliated during situations of armed conflict. Childhood sexual abuse of boys is alarmingly common ( Pdf, 42 pages).
Male rape victims in the Lord’s resistance army war and the conflict in Eastern Congo
Linda Lanyero Omona, International Institute for Social Studies. December, 2014
Sexual violence against men in Uganda is an underreported crime. Sexual violence against men is considered a taboo in most cultures. It is an issue not talked about because many consider the rape of men nearly impossible. It is clear that men have also been victims of rape in armed conflicts all over the world. The laws that define rape should be revised to include men and boys as victims of rape (Pdf, 48 pages).
Male victims of sexual violence: war's silent sufferers
Allan Ngari, Institute for Security Studies (ISS). 2016
Sexual violence is a tactic of war, used to humiliate, dominate and instill fear. It is also increasingly being used as a tactic of terrorism. While the focus has largely been on women and girls as victims of sexual violence, boys and men are equally at risk. Sexual violence against men and boys takes on a range of heinous acts, including anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration and coercion to rape others. Many of these acts are seen as emasculating, and while many male victims are willing to give accounts of what they witnessed, they are less likely to express what they themselves had experienced in conflict (webpage).
Mental Health Care in the Developing World
Vikram Patel (2008)
Some 450 million people worldwide currently suffer from some form of mental disease or brain condition, but almost half the countries in the world have no explicit mental health policy and nearly a third have no program for coping with the rising tide of brain-related disabilities.
Mental Health Disabilities and Post-Conflict Economic and Social Recovery
Robert J. Muscat (2006)
Global Peace Services USA
The interactions between mental health and socioeconomic functioning are complex. Much remains to be learned. Causation runs both ways. Post conflict mental health disabilities affecting the economic, social, and learning behavior of significant numbers of people can have deleterious effects on socioeconomic recovery. Community dynamics and economic conditions, good or bad, feed back on the prospects for individuals’ mental health recovery.
(6 pages pdf)
Mental Health Issues of Resettled Refugees
By Richard Ater, RN, University of Washington (1998)
Nowhere are the health care needs of refugees more pronounced than in the realm of mental health. Refugees are vulnerable to psychological distress due to uprooting and adjustment difficulties in the resettlement country, such as language, occupational problems, and cultural conflict.
Mental Health Problems Among Adults in Tsunami-Affected Areas in Southern Thailand
Frits van Griensven et al. 2006
Among survivors of the tsunami in southern Thailand, elevated rates of symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression were reported 8 weeks after the disaster, with higher rates for anxiety and depression than PTSD symptoms. Nine months after the disaster, the rates of those reporting these symptoms decreased but were still elevated. This information is important for directing, strengthening, and evaluating post tsunami mental health needs and interventions (13 pages).
Mental Health Programs In Areas Of Armed Conflict: The Médecins Sans Frontières Counselling Centres In Bosnia-Hercegovina
By Kaz de Jong, Rolf J. Kleber and Vesna Puratic (2003)
This article describes the theoretical framework, objectives, implementation and intervention activities of the mental health program of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1994-1998. (31 pages, .doc)
Mental Health of Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Other Populations Affected by Conflict
Mental Health in general and Mental Health of Refugees in particular are priorities of the work of the World Health Organization. Intensified efforts are being made by WHO in order to respond to the mental health needs of one of the most vulnerable groups of today`s world. (3 pages, .doc)
Mental and social health during and after acute emergencies: emerging consensus?
This article from the Bulletin of the World Health Organization acknowledges that there is no agreement on the public health value of the post-traumatic stress disorder concept, or the appropriateness of vertical (separate) trauma-focused services during and after acute emergencies. It also highlights the separation of psychosocial care (focusing on non-medical intervention) from the mental health care field. It suggests that this has actually drawn practitioners skilled in non-biological interventions away from formal mental health services. (71 pages, .pdf)
Mental health and conflict
Florence Baingana WB, 2003
This note discusses the relevance and design of mental health care interventions in post-conflict situations. Mental health disorders and psychosocial problems arising from conflict need to be addressed as part of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation efforts. The note presents a conceptual framework for mental health interventions in post-conflict settings and illustrations from West Bank-Gaza, Bosnia, Burundi and Uganda (pdf, 4 pages).
Mental health care of psychotraumatized persons
Esmina Avdibegovic, Mevludin Hasanovic, Zihnet Selimbasic, Izet Pajevic & Osman Sinanovic 2008
Describes the organizing of sychosocial help during and after the BH war, institutional treatment of psychotraumatized in the frame of mental health service reform program with an overview on the model of psychosocial support and psychiatry-psychological treatment of psychotraumatized persons of Tuzla Canton region (11 pages, pdf).
Mental health consequences of war: a brief review of research findings
SRINIVASA MURTHY1 and LAKSHMINARAYANA 2006
In humanitarian emergencies and conflict situations psychological damage has traditionally not been addressed, its extent and impact have not been well studied. It is only through a greater focus of mental health problems as a result of war and conflict, can coherent and effective strategies for dealing with such problems be developed.
Mental health promotion in post-conflict countries
Neill Ghosh et al. (2004)
Meeting the mental health needs of those persons in conflict and post-conflict situations in the eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) is an important goal of the World Health Organization. Of the 22 countries in the EMR, 85% of the population has been affected by conflict in the past two decades. This has resulted in a high prevalence of mental disorder, most commonly depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. A number of innovative, culturally sensitive interventions have been developed to meet the mental health needs of the populations. These include the use of 'focusing' in Afghanistan, the Education for Peace Programme in Lebanon, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's work with refugees in Gaza, life skills education in Iran and the training of professionals in Afghanistan.
(3 pages pdf)
Mothers and children in war and conflict
Save the children 2003
Women and children are the casualties of deliberate and systematic violence against entire populations. Women and children are killed, maimed and exploited as opposing forces – often acting on long-simmering ethnic and religious grievances – seek to destroy each other’s cultures and the very fabric of society(pdf. 52 pages)
Mozambique: The Battle Continues for Former Child Soldiers
Youth Advoctae Program International (2001)
This study focuses on the use of child soldiers during Mozambique`s long civil war and the efforts made to reintegrate former child soldiers since the conclusion of the war.
(11 pages, .pdf)
National Consultation-Workshop on the Use of Children as Soldiers in the Philippines
By UP Center for Integrative & Development Studies; Philippine Human Rights Information Center; Amnesty International-Pilipinas Section; and Kabiba Foundation, Inc- Alliance for Children’s Concerns (2001)
Program on Psychosocial Trauma & Human Rights. Summary Proceedings of the “National Consultation-Workshop on the Use of Children as Soldiers in the Philippines” held in Barcelo Royal Mandaya Hotel, Davao City March 21-23, 2001.
(27 pages, .doc)
Nepali Voices: Perceptions of Truth, Justice, Reconciliation, Reparations and the Transition in Nepal
International Center for Transitional Justice, Occasional Paper (2008) Various transitional-justice mechanisms were included in Nepal’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in November 2006. The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), together with Advocacy Forum (AF), decided to carry out a study on victims’ perceptions of issues such as truth, justice, reparations, reconciliation, and the general transition in Nepal. This study seeks to contribute to the debate about the transitional process in Nepal, bringing to the discussion the perceptions and opinions of the people who were directly affected by violence during the conflict. TheICTJandAFconsider it important to bring the voice of the victims into a debate involving all sectors of society.
(63 pages pdf)
Nightmares in Jalazone: Families deal with trauma following Israeli torture
Lauren Jappee 2015
To understand psychiatric home visits in Palestine necessitates forgoing Western assumptions about patient confidentiality, privacy, and timeliness. Though individual patients often refer themselves to treatment centers after a release from prison, the difficulty of traveling to and from major cities requires therapists to make home visits. Families then participate in the session as a group, thereby coming to better understand their family member’s situation and relieving some of their own symptoms as well.
Non-governmental Organisations and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: An impact assessment.
By Hugo van der Merwe, Polly Dewhirst & Brandon Hamber, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (1999)
This report examines the relationship between Peace/Conflict Resolution Organisations and the Truth and Reconsiliation Commission.
Not for Service - Experiences of injustice and despair in mental health care in Australia
Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA)2005
This report captures the persisting, distressing and daily experiences of inadequate mental health and community care. It details personal stories of people with mental illness, and their families and carers. Such stories are often excluded from other national reports.The report also includes the strong views of doctors, nurses, psychologists and other professionals who provide mental health services in Australia.
Nothing Left to Lose: The Legacy of Armed Conflict and Liberia’s Children
Liberia has been in a nearly constant state of civil war for 14 years. This has taken an enormous toll on the lives of Liberian children, adolescents and all civilians. Throughout the years of civil war and especially during the 2003 War, thousands of Liberian children have been victims of killings, rape and sexual assault, abduction, torture, forced labor,forced recruitment into fighting forces and displacement and other violations by warring factions.
(50 pages, .pdf)
Nowhere to turn: failure to protect, support and assure justice for Darfuri women
PHR and HHI, 2009.
This report amplifies the voices of some 88 women in the Farchana refugee camp, some of them breaking their silence for the first time. They spoke about the sexual violence visited upon them both in Darfur and in the environs of the refugee camps in Chad, and about their lives and difficulties in the camp. The report reveals the profound stigma and physical violence to which many women have been subjected as a result of sexual assault (pdf, 73 pages).
Old Stereotypes, New Realities - Refugees and Mental Health
By Richard Mollica and Laura McDonald (2001)
International research and relief organizations estimate that there are between 10 million and 11 million refugees, and 20 million and 25 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) worldwide. Scientific studies underscore the impact that horrific events - characteristic of the "refugee experience" - have on the mental health of an individual and society.
On the issues: Women, Conflict and Peacebuilding
United States Institute of Peace USIP, 2010
Presentation of some programs and funds USIP is taking care of. The institute strives to encourage more practice and scholarly work on women, and seeks to deepen understanding of the role of women in conflict and Peace (website).
Organised Violence and Torture in Zimbabwe in 2001
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (2003)
For many Zimbabweans the year 2001 was a very difficult one. The politically motivated violence, which began after the referendum in February 2000, continued as a result of the election challenges and the forthcoming 2002 presidential elections. The police force continued to be used as a tool for violence by the ruling party.
(49 pages, .pdf)
Orphans and Vulnerable Youth in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: An Exploratory Study of Psychosocial Well-being and Psychosocial Support Programs
Population Council (2006)Children and youth affected by AIDS typically face a wide range of stressful events and circumstances,including poverty, the loss of caregivers and loved ones, having to drop out of school, the burden of adultlike responsibilities, and social isolation. Increasingly programs for orphans and vulnerable children are addressing not only their material and educational needs, but their psychosocial needs as well. Yet there has been little research on how to evaluate psychosocial support (PSS) programs and the impact of these
programs on vulnerable youth’s psychosocial well-being.
(58 pages, .pdf)
PTSD in Survivors of Rwanda`s 1994 War
Psychiatric Times (1998)
Rwanda`s 1994 civil war officially ended in July of that year, but as massacres and episodes of genocide continue to erupt sporadically within and around Rwanda`s borders, the many faces of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to surface in dramatic ways.
Participation of Conflict-Affected Children in Humanitarian Action: Learning from Nepal
Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford Jason Hart (2004)
This study considers children`s participation in agency programming in the context of the armed conflict between the forces of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and His Majesty`s Government of Nepal. It also takes into account the situation of the Bhutanese refugees currently living in camps in the south-east of the country. (32 pages, .pdf)
Participation of Conflict-Affected Children in Humanitarian Action: learning from the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford (2002)
This project originated as a specifically child-focused companion to a global study into beneficiary participation in humanitarian aid. ALNAP, an international inter-agency forum which works to improve learning and accountability within the humanitarian system, commissioned research in five case study countries. Three of these (Sri Lanka, Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo) are emergencies which involve long-standing political conflicts with significant numbers of IDPs or refugees.
(38 pages, .pdf)
Personal and Community Reconstruction, Resilence and and Empowerment in Times of Ethnopolitical Conflict
Psychologists for Social Responsibility (2002)
A report on an international conference on integrating approaches to psychosocial humanitarian assistance.
(40 pages, .pdf)
Physical forensic signs of sexual torture in children
Muriel Volpellier, IRCT 2009
A guideline for non specialized medical examiners
Proper forensic documentation of sexual torture in children is crucial. Informed consent for examination and documentation must be sought from the child/accompanying person and the examination conducted in a sensitive and respectful manner. Time should be given to the child to relate the history of torture and the examiner should start with open ended questions. The history of torture should be recorded verbatim as much as possible (pdf,10 pages).
Piloting Methods for the Evaluation of Psychosocial Programme - Impact in Eastern Sri Lanka
Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford (2004)
This document is based upon a study conducted in eastern Sri Lanka by a small team of researchers over the nine month period between April 2003 and January 2004. The project was intended to pilot a range of participatory tools and methods with children in Batticaloa, a part of the island that has experienced years of conflict and displacement, with the aim of establishing their utility and appropriateness for monitoring and evaluating psychosocial programmes.
(74 pages, .pdf)
Planning needs and services after collective trauma: should we look for the symptoms of PTSD?
CarmeloVazquez & Pau Perez-Salesi
The incidence of PTSD After the Madrid March 11, 2004 terrorist attacks, ranged from what can be expected as a normal prevalence in general population in Spain under non-traumatic conditions to values that, when applied to the general population, could be considered a dramatic epidemic of PTSD. These results demonstrate that inferences about the impact of traumatic events on the general population largely depend on the measure, definition and criteria used by the researcher. Slightly changing the criteria for PTSD makes an enormous difference to the amount of traumatization that is found ( Intervention 2007, Volume 5, Number 1).
Post-traumatic stress in former Ugandan child soldiers
By Ilse Derluyn, Eric Broekaert, Gilberte Schuyten, Els De Temmerman (2004)
Worldwide, 300 000 children are currently used as child soldiers in armed conflicts. We interviewed 301 former child soldiers who had been abducted by the northern Ugandan rebellion movement Lord’s Resistance Army. All the children were abducted at a young age (mean 12·9 years) and for a long time (mean 744 days). Almost all the children experienced several traumatic events (mean six events); 233 (77%) saw someone being killed, and 118 (39%) had to kill someone themselves. 71 children also filled in the impact of event scale—revised to assess their post-trauma stress reactions. 69 (97%) reported post-traumatic stress reactions of clinical importance.
(3 pages, .pdf)
Posttraumatic Resilience in Former Ugandan Child Soldiers
Child Development Klasen et al. 2010
The research examines posttraumatic resilience in extremely exposed children and adolescents based on interviews with former Ugandan child soldiers. Despite severe trauma exposure, 27.6% showed posttraumatic resilience as indicated by the absence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and clinically significant behavioral and emotional problems. Among these former child soldiers, posttraumatic resilience was associated with lower exposure to domestic violence, lower guilt cognitions, less motivation to seek revenge, better socioeconomic situation in the family, and more perceived spiritual support. Among the youth with significant psychopathology, many of them had symptoms extending beyond the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, in keeping with the emerging concept of developmental trauma disorder. Implications for future research, intervention, and policy are discussed (pdf, 18 pages).
Posttraumatic resilience in former Ugandan child soldiers
Klasen et a. 2010 Child development
The present research examines posttraumatic resilience in extremely exposed children and adolescents based on interviews with 330 former Ugandan child soldiers. Despite severe trauma exposure, 27.6% showed posttraumatic resilience as indicated by the absence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and clinically significant behavioral and emotional problems. Among these former child soldiers, posttraumatic resilience was associated with lower exposure to domestic violence, lower guilt cognitions, less motivation to seek revenge, better socioeconomic situation in the family, and more perceived spiritual support. Among the youth with significant psychopathology, many of them had symptoms extending beyond the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, in keeping with the emerging concept of developmental trauma disorder (17 pages, pdf).
Preliminary adaptations for working with traumatized Latino/Hispanic children and their families
NCTSN 2007. It is important to provide culturally sensitive trauma-informed treatment to Latino/Hispanic clients. While many of the following recommendations are good practice when working with Latino/Hispanic clients, it is also important to remain flexible. The intervention that works with one family may not be appropriate for another (pdf, 8 pages).
Preparing Mental Health Reform in Slovenia
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (2003)
The article describes major mental health problems in Slovenia and describes the steps done to change present inadequacy of mental health system organization.
Preventing torture through investigation and documentation
Use this website to find information and guidance on the investigation and documentation of torture as a means to combat impunity, ensure reparation for survivors and prevent torture.
Preventing torture, in principle and in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has legislation directed against torture and police brutality, including specific anti-torture legislation and other laws such as the law of evidence, designed to try to discourage torture. Nonetheless, there is no question that widespread torture is perpetrated in Sri Lanka.
Prevention and reintegration of children involved in armed conflict. The Philippine experience
Agnes Zenaida V. Camacho 2003
The Philippines has experienced decades of armed conflict involving a number of different groups,including self-determination movements (e.g. Cordillera and Muslim movements), communist insurgency, and a rebellion by a segment of the national military in the 1980s. Recently, much focus has been placed on the Mindanao region as the main area of fighting and displacement in the Philippines. The conflict in Mindanao has been rooted in problems that have long plagued the unity of the nation. In general, these include the underdevelopment of the region, an unequal re-distribution of wealth, and most of all, problems of the integration of Muslim Filipinos into mainstream Philippine society. (37 pages, .pdf)
Principles for the Protection of Persons With Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care
An important international standard is the United Nations Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for the Improvement of Mental Health Care. It has proved to be particularly valuable in applying human rights recognised in other instruments to people with mental illness and to situations affecting them.
Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the Role of Health Personnel,
Adopted particularly for Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Adopted by General Assembly resolution 37/194 of 18 December 1982
Promoting Psychosocial Well-Being Among Children Affected by Armed Conflict and Displacement: Principles and Approaches
Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies (¨1996)
Save the Children began in the aftermath of the First World War and the Russian revolution to help refugee and displaced children across Europe. Since then, wars, especially civil wars, have increased: More than 50 of them were raging in 1995. A central feature of these conflicts is that 80-90 percent of the victims are civilians, most of them women and children.
Providing for the Health of Refugees
Internatinal Rescue Committee (2003)
The International Rescue Committee has a proud record in providing health care to refugees and conflict-affected populations. For over 30 years, the IRC has provided health services in response to humanitarian crises in such countries as Cambodia, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda.
Psychological Consequences of Torture: State Terror Trauma Versus Terrorists` Trauma
By Prof. Rona M. Fields, Ph.D. (1996)
In a research on trauma and its consequences, two distinct subject groups were compared--victims of depth interrogation torture in Northern Ireland and survivors of hostage captivity.
Psychological intervention in major emergencies: an Asia-Pacific perspective
Tim H. Williams, Stuart C. Carr, & Neville M. Blampied, 2007.
What might constitute good practices for psychological intervention in any major or complex emergencies that can be anticipated occurring in the South-West Pacific, Australasia and southern South East Asia region. We do not believe there can be a singular ‘best practice’ that can be prescribed for such events, rather that through discussion broad guidelines can be developed to inform decision makers about what would constitute probable good practices when a major emergency occurs (10 pages).
Psychology of the Refugee, the Immigrant and their Children
Binnie Kristal-Andersson, Dep. of Psychology, University of Lund, Sweden (2000)
In recent years, awareness has grown of the necessity of understanding the inner world of refugees (in particular traumatized refugees), immigrants, and their children. These groups have come in increasing numbers to Scandinavia, and otherwise confident and capable professionals in all arenas of mental health, social work and other fields have often felt inadequate when working with them.
(384 pages, .pdf)
Psychosocial Care & Protection of Children in Emergencies
Save the children, Arntson and Knudsen (2004)
Conflict has moved from the ”front line” to the backyard, with more children exposed to extreme violence and loss as their entire community is affected. These events mark children, whether they witness events directly or indirectly, whether they suffer as victims of violence or are pulled into the conflict as perpetrators of violence themselves. While the humanitarian community knows how to meet their survival needs of food, water, and shelter, how do we help children and their communities recover from these other invisible wounds? (91 pages, .pdf)
Psychosocial Impact of Internal Displacement - Preliminary Results of Balay Case Studies
By Kaloy A. Anasarias, Balay Rehabilitation Centre (2000)
In the Philippines, where the prevailing idea of a disaster are those brought about by typhoons, earthquakes and floods, the phenomenon of internal displacement, as a consequence of armed conflict, has already reached a proportion that could no longer be ignored. More than 1 million people have already been affected by armed clashes .
Psychosocial Interventions for Children of War: The Value of a Model of Resiliency
By Roberta J. Apfel, M.D., M.P.H.; Bennett Simon, M.D. (1996)
The authors focus first on psychosocial interventions that enhance the resiliency of children. Utilizing the focus on interventions that enhance resiliency, the authors address the question of how basic relief and development programs and interventions (providing food, clothing, shelter, basic medical needs, and education) already provide important psycho-social interventions, and how specifically designated psychosocial interventions can be integrated with and enhance these ongoing programs.
Psychosocial Trauma and Rehabilitation Work in East Timor
By Abilio Belo (2001)
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)carried out a national psychosocial needs assessment in East Timor in June and July 2000. The aim was to assess the extent of "torture and trauma and the health impact" it had on the population. The study results provided the basis for the proposed National Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program.
Psychosocial Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Torture
By Dr. Carlos Madariaga Araya, CNTRAS (2002)
Over the past few years, within the teams that provide medical-psychological care to people suffering from the psychic sequels of torture in our country, there has been a permanent discussion surrounding certain categories that arise from psychiatric nosography that have been put forward as descriptive or interpretative models of the whole set of effects produced by this act of violence on psychic functions.
(21 pages, .pdf)
Psychosocial intervention and post-war Reconstruction in Angola: interweaving Western and traditional approaches
Michael Wessells and Carlinda Monteiro, 2007
The intra-state wars that now comprise the dominant form of armed conflict in the world cause immense physical, psychological, and social damage, and create profound obstacles to peace. Worldwide, approximately a quarter of a million children participate in military activity, often as the result of victimization, coercion, or economic desperation. Many have killed or witnessed tortures, executions, and deaths. In Angola in 1994, there were over 9,000 child soldiers, most of whom had been forcibly recruited at age 13 to 14 years (pdf, 23 pages).
Psychosocial interventions for children in war-affected areas: the state of the art
Brechtje Kalksma-Van Lith
In this article the literature on psychosocial assistance to children in war-affected areas is reviewed. Two main types of interventions are identified: the curative approach and the developmental approach. The effectiveness of each of these approaches is discussed.( Intervention 2007, Volume 5, Number 1, Page 3 - 17)
Psychosocial rehabilitation in Brazil: the impact on everyday life
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (2003)
This article describes the centralization of the therapeutic work on the aspects of everyday life of the users’ mental health service, emphasizing psychosocial rehabilitation, while a social practice geared towards the rebuilding of identities and possibilities for mentally ill people.
Psychotherapy Treatment of Torture Survivors
The International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (2004)
This article presents a project about applying a model of brief therapy to the rehabilitation of survivors of torture and organised political violence. The model includes both narrative and body oriented therapeutic approaches to the treatment of trauma. The narrative approach focuses on the construction of meaning in the traumatic events and in so doing makes it possible for the client to view his life story from different angles.
Publications - The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
In pursuit of their goal, PCATI operates primarily in two spheres: the legal, by filing petitions in the name of torture victims and training legal, medical and mental health professionals to work with torture victims; and the public, through education projects, conferences, continuing education sessions, documentation, and the release of publications.Her are a collection of their studies.
Rape and Other Torture in the Chechnya Conflict: Documented evidence from asylum seekers arriving in the United Kingdom
The Medical Foundation (2004)
This paper summarises the experiences of those clients seen at the Medical Foundation who have been tortured as a consequence of the conflict in Chechnya. It relates to the 35 clients provided with services by the Medical Foundation between December 1999 and January 2004. Although a small sample, their experiences are broadly typical of a wider pattern of gross abuse.
(14 pages, .pdf)
Rape as a Crime of War - A Medical Perspective
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) (1994)
Health care professionals can support individual and community healing from rape and other war-related trauma. We examine herein some of the medical sequelae and human rights issues that surround the crime of rape in war and the role that health care professionals can play in treating individual survivors as well as in collecting and analyzing evidence of these violations.
Rape as a Method of Torture
Edited by Dr Michael Peel for Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture 2004.
There are many different patterns of rape, and all victims of rape need care and treatment, both for the immediate physical and psychological consequences, and to help them deal with the longterm impact on themselves, their families, and the societies in which they live. Many also need protection from being returned to a situation in which further torture and rape can occur. The way that rape is considered in international human rights law and in domestic asylum law affects the risk of these women and men being tortured again. This book has been written by a team from the Medical Foundation in order to share clinical experiences of helping victims of rape from a range of perspectives, and to transmit that information to help victims of rape and those working with them, whether clinicians, lawyers, advocates or friends (pdf 244 pages).
Rapid Assessments of Mental Health Needs After Disasters
Derrick Silove and Richard Bryant, 2006.
Screening for PTSD among survivors of disasters in developing countries, especially in acute situations, has faced a number of common criticisms; psychological trauma is a western concept that may be unfamiliar to other cultures. PTSD has limited diagnostic validity because culturally diverse communities do not have equivalent terms for the constellation or for the individual symptom domains of the disorder (4 pages).
UN Voluntary Fund for Vicims of Torture (2006)
Rebuilding Lives focuses on five Fund-supported projects in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Pakistan and Rwanda, representing the five regions of the world. The projects are described in brief articles supplemented by a series of photographs. These should allow readers to have a greater understanding of the experiences of torture victims and the rehabilitative services provided by the organizations.
(97 pages, .pdf)
Redress - Reports
REDRESS is a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation. REDRESS works with survivors to help restore their dignity and to make torturers accountable. Here are their reports.
Rehabilitation as a form of reparation under International law
Clara Sandoval Villalba, Redress 2009
The Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparations for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law (Basic Principles) further clarify this right. These Principles indicate the types of reparation that may be needed, depending on the particular circumstances of the case, to afford adequate and effective reparation to victims, explicitly recognising five forms of reparation for such violations: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition (pdf, 72 pages).
Rehabilitation of traumatised refugees and survivors of torture
Metin Basoglu, (BMJ 2006;333:1230-1231) In a 1988 BMJ editorial,1 Marks and I reviewed the available knowledge on the mental health effects of torture and their treatment and presented a critical look at rehabilitation programmes for survivors. Eighteen years later, it is time to cast another look at the advances in our understanding of torture and its treatment and how this progress has translated into rehabilitation work with survivors. Such an update is timely: given the political developments of the last two decades, torture has become an ever more serious problem.
Reparation for Torture: A Survey of Law and Practice - Egypt
The practice of torture has been and continues to be systematic in Egypt. It is often used against detainees under emergency law, which has been in place since 1981. Reportedly, the main perpetrators are State security investigators. Police routinely torture or ill-treat detainees and there have been several deaths in custody, allegedly as a result of torture (17 pages, pdf).
Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the Central African Republic
The report focuses on grave violations perpetrated against children in the Central African Republic and identifies parties to the conflict, both State and non-State actors, who commit grave abuses against children. In particular, the report highlights the fact that children have been consistently recruited and used by non-State armed groups, including Government-backed self-defence militias. The report shows worrisome trends of rapes and other grave sexual violence perpetrated by all parties to the conflict throughout the territory. The report also notes the systematic and widespread use of abductions, especially in the north-west, by non-State armed groups and armed bandits as a means of recruiting children and to threaten and extort ransom from the population.
Report of the parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people
The children`s society 2012
The inquiry into asylum support for children and young people received written submissions and heard oral evidence from over 200 individuals and
organisations, including local authorities, safeguarding boards and academics.
The panel considered perspectives from health, poverty, housing, well-being and
asylum support experts, and heard directly from families with experience of
living on asylum support. The evidence shows that the current asylum support
system is in urgent need of reform if it is to have regard to the safety and wellbeing of children and meet its obligations to promote childrens best interests (pdf, 75 pages)
Report on Afghanistan - October 2001
By Watchlist (2001)
Through two decades of violence and war in Afghanistan all parties to the conflict have violated children’s rights. Today Afghan children and adolescents face dire circumstances. Approximately 1 in 4 Afghan children die of preventable causes before the age of five. Approximately 1 in 2 children suffer from malnutrition. The maternal mortality rate is the second highest in the world at 1,700/100,000. Approximately 2 million Afghan children are refugees or internally displaced. Approximately half of all landmine victims in Afghanistan are children (an estimated 5-10 people died everyday in 1999 from landmine injuries). Children and adolescents are reported to be forcibly recruited as soldiers.
(10 pages, .pdf)
Report on Angola - April 2002
By Watchlist (2002)
According to UNICEF, Angola is among the worst places in the world to be a child. One out of every three children dies before the age of five. This is equal to one child dying every three minutes and 420 children dying every day. More than half of Angola`s population is under 18, yet little attention is paid to the urgent needs of youth and the consistent violations of their rights by the government and the opposition armed forces during the war. Both the Angolan government and the armed opposition seriously violated the most basic provisions of core international standards established to protect the rights of children, adolescents and other civilians.
(19 pages, .pdf)
Report on Burundi - May 2002
By Watchlist (2002)
Burundian children, including adolescents, live in extremely precarious conditions. Recent reports provide evidence that urgent attention is needed. There are gaps in childspecific information.
(21 pages, .pdf)
Report on Georgia
Report to the Georgian Government on the visit to Georgia carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment(CPT)from 18 to 28 November 2003 and from 7 to 14 May 2004
(83 pages, .pdf)
Report on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Terretories - September 2002
International humanitarian law provides for the protection of civilians, including children, in situations of armed conflict. The Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasizes the special protections due to children in situations of armed conflict (art. 38). In the case of this conflict, the duty to protect children falls upon both the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Both Israeli and Palestinian officials have three major obligations: to protect children, to prevent military and security forces under their control from committing abuses against children and other civilians and to adequately investigate abuses and bring the perpetrators to justice.
(19 pages, .pdf)
Report on the Czech Republic
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (2004)
Report to the Czech Government on the visit to the Czech Republic carried out by CPT from 21 to 30 April 2002.
(81 pages, .pdf)
Resilience & Recovery after WAR: Refugee children and families in the United States.
reviews the research on the psychosocial effects of war on children and families, identifies areas of needed culturally and developmentally appropriate research, and provides recommendations for culturally and developmentally informed practice and programs (pdf, 96 pages).
Resilience and recovery after war: Refugee children and families in the United States
American Psychological Association 2010
When working with refugee children and their families, the most effective practitioners provide comprehensive services, are culturally competent, and integrate evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence. Truly rich multicultural practice involves a process of community engagement that allows for dialogue, questioning, and adaptation of practice to fit a group’s beliefs and values while still providing culturally informed, effective care (96 pages, pdf).
Resilience in a Time of War
The American Psychological Association (2005)
No one knows how long a war will last or how it will affect our lives. We may feel uncertain about the future and anxious about events that are out of our control. You may react differently to a war today because of the impact of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Terrorism creates fear and uncertainty about the future. Because terrorist acts are random and unpredictable, war today poses a new kind of threat, one with which Americans have had little experience. You may feel more afraid, insecure, and vulnerable as a result of concerns that the United States could be attacked again.
Responding to the Needs of Torture Survivors in the United Kingdom
Report of the Seminar for Frontline Service Providers - The Handbook is a co-publication of REDRESS and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture,1 and contains general advice and practical information for torture survivors wishing to access information and services in the UK, including contact details for many useful service providers throughout the country. The Handbook also sets out the ways in which torture survivors may obtain reparation. (29 pages, pdf)
Responses to Human Rights Violations: The Implementation of the Right to Reparation for Torture in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
Report from the seminar "Responses to Human Rights Violations: The Domestic Implementation of the International Right to Reparation for Torture Victims in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal" - held on 14 September 2002 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. (100 pages, .pdf)
Rethinking Mental Health Work with Survivors of Wartime Violence and Refugees
By Patrick Bracken, Joan E. Giller & Derek Summerfield (1997)
Recent years have seen a great increase in the number of programmes established to provide psychological help for refugees and victims of wartime violence in both Western and non-Western countries. Such programmes have, in the main, shared the conceptual and theoretical framework developed in Western psychology and psychiatry around issues of trauma and stress.
(11 pages, .rtf)
Returning home: forced conscription, reintegration, and mental health status of former abductees of the Lord's Resistance Army in Northern Uganda
Phuong N Pham, Patrick Vinck, Eric Stover, 2009.
Abduction and forced conscription of civilians has affected the psychological well-being of a significant number of northern Ugandans. The sources of psychological trauma are multiple, ranging from witnessing to being forced to commit violent acts, and compounded by prolonged exposure to violence, often for months or years. Community-based mental health care services and reintegration programs are needed to facilitate the reintegration of former abductees back into their communities (pdf 14).
Review of Child and Adolescent Refugee Mental Health
National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Refugee Trauma Task Force (2003)
This white paper extends the work done in previous reviews by discussing the most recent empirical studies of pathology and services among refugees and by describing unique populations of child and adolescent refugees. These data, as well as treatments, are organized by phase of the refugee experience and contextualized in cultural and developmental frameworks.
(49 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Bahrain
Humanium (2011) The Bahrain kingdom, comprising 40 islands and located in the Arabic Gulf, and has significant problems in terms of children’s rights. Freedom of speech, rights to identity and to non-discrimination are not fully respected. Thus, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about the situation of Bahraini children and recommended the country take steps to improve their living conditions.
Rights of the Child in Costa Rica
The reports are presented to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child who use them to analyse how well a country is fulfilling its international commitments with regard to children. Their recommendations on the issue of torture, drawing from OMCT’s reports, send a strong message from the international community on the need for action to end the torture of children.
(37 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Egypt Country Profile
Manara nettwork 2011
A Review of the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Work on Child Rights Governance aims to build societies that fulfil children rights by establishing and strengthening the infrastructure necessary for states to effectively implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights
of the Child and other child rights obligations. It seeks to support a vibrant civil society pushing children up the political agenda and holding states to account for what they have or haven’t done to realise children’s rights. (24 pages, pdf)
Rights of the Child in Ethiopia
Report Concerning the Application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. OMCT regrets that the Ethiopian authorities have failed to supply information of importance in their report, particularly concerning
the de facto ill-treatment or torture of children and de jure protection and penalties applied to officials or agents of the State responsible for violations perpetrated against children, conditions in which children are detained. (30 pages, pdf)
Rights of the Child in Haiti
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Republic of Haiti - 32nd Session - Geneva, 13-31 January 2003
(62 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Kenya
An alternative report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the
Child on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of
the Child in Kenya -(36 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Pakistan
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Pakistan - prepared for the Committee on the Rights of the Child 34th session – Geneva, September 2003
(31 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Spain
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Spain - 30th Session - Geneva, 20 May - 7 June 2002
(56 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Sudan
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Sudan - 31st Session - Geneva, 18 September - 4 October 2002
74 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Tunisia
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Tunisia
(52 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Turkey
Report Concerning the Application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Turkey - 27th Session - Geneva, 21 May / 8 June 2001
(48 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in Ukraine
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Ukraine - 31th Session - Geneva, 18 September / 4 october 2002
(70 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in the Czech Republic
Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Czech Republic - 32nd Session - Geneva, 13-31 January 2003
(62 pages, .pdf)
Rights of the Child in the Democratic Republic of Congo
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD 2009 Concluding observations
(22 pages, .pdf)
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Article 68)
Protection of the victims and witnesses and their participation in the proceedings
1. The Court shall take appropriate measures to protect the safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity and privacy of victims and witnesses. In so doing, the Court shall have regard to all relevant factors, including age, gender as defined in article 7, paragraph 3, and health, and the nature of the crime, in particular, but not limited to, where the crime involves sexual or gender violence or violence against children.
Safeguarding children in detention: independent monitoring mechanisms for children in detention in mena.
Penal Reform International 2011
Children are particularly at risk of harm and ill-treatment resulting from deprivation of liberty, a situation which is clearly recognized in international standards. This Handbook sets out the relevant provisions of the human rights standards that apply to monitoring places of detention for children, and provides guidance on implementing these in practice. PRI has a long experience in assisting states to implement international standards in the field of penal reform and juvenile justice and is well-placed to provide this expert guidance (90 pages, pdf).
Saving a war`s traumatized children
Africa Recovery (2000)
Sierra Leone camps try to rehabilitate child victims and soldiers.
School-Based Mental Health Intervention for Children Affected by Political Violence in Indonesia
Wietse A. Tol, Ivan H. Komproe, Dessy Susanty, Mark J. D. Jordans, Robert D. Macy, Joop T. V. M. De Jong, 2008.
In this study of children in violence-affected communities, a school based intervention reduced posttraumatic stress symptoms and helped maintain hope, but did not reduce traumatic-stress related symptoms, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, or functional impairment (9 pages).
Security Council Cross Cutting Report Children and armed conflict
For over ten years the impact of war on children has been a significant thematic focus for the Security Council.
There is now much greater awareness of the issue and some evidence that the inclusion of child protection principles in Council decisions in specific cases is having some impact. However, the Council still encounters some resistance from some governments. And the difficulty of applying effective pressure on non-state actors
who recruit child soldiers is a continuing challenge (32 pages).
Senegal: Casamance women speak out
Amnesty International (2003)
Women have paid a particularly heavy price throughout the conflict in Casamance between the Senegalese security forces and the MFDC, which has been ongoing since 1982. During this conflict, in which any civilian may be suspected of supporting the other side at any moment, some women have been taken hostage, others have been kidnapped, raped or threatened with rape.
(31 pages, .pdf)
Setting the Right Priorities: Protecting Children Affected by Armed Conflict in Afghanistan
In 2009, at least 346 children were killed in aerial strikes and search-and-raid operations by international special forces as well as by assassinations and suicide bombings by anti-government elements. In addition, landmines, explosive remnants of war and other explosives have killed or severely injured hundreds of children, particularly boys who play outside, tend animals, or collect food, water or wood. Armed groups have also damaged and destroyed schools, targeting students (especially girls), teachers and others who are seen as supportive of Afghanistan’s education system (60 pages, pdf).
Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: United Nations Response
By UN (1998)
Sexual violence during armed conflict is not a new phenomenon. It has existed for as long as there has been conflict. In her 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, Susan Brownmiller presented stark accounts of rape and other sexual atrocities that have been committed during armed conflict throughout history. While historically very few measures have been taken to address sexual violence against women committed during armed conflict, it is not true to say that there has always been complete silence about the issue.
Sexual violence against women and girls in war and its aftermath: realities, responses, and required resources
Jeanne Ward and Mendy Marsh, 2006.
Addressing GBV requires coordinated, inter-agency, and multi-sectoral strategies that aim for prevention through policy reform and implementation of protective mechanisms and building the capacity of health, social welfare, legal and security systems to recognize, monitor, and respond to GBV; in addition to ensure rapid and respectful services to survivors (pdf 34 pages).
Sexual violence as a weapon of war
Violence against women, especially rape, has added its own brand of shame to recent wars. From conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Peru to Rwanda, girls and women have been singled out for rape, imprisonment, torture and execution.
Shedding light on a dark practice. Using the Istanbul Protocol to document torture
IRCT 2009. A range of health and legal experts from around the world share their knowledge and experiences on documenting and reporting cases of alleged torture. (pdf. 86 pages)
Sierra Leone’s Child Soldiers: War Exposures and Mental Health Problems by Gender
Betancourt, Borisova, Soudière, Williamson 2011.
This study contributes to a growing body of literature examining the experience of child soldiers by gender. In particular it provides quantitative data on rates of war experiences among male and female CAAFAG to shed light on important differences and similarities. This study emphasizes that children’s psychosocial adjustment must be considered in light of war experiences, post-conflict resources and gender (pdf).
Some perspectives on torture victims, reparation and mental recovery
Article2, Paul Dalton IRCTV (2002)
This article surveys issues related to the pursuit of reparation by victims of torture or their family members. What is the legal right to reparation, and how successfully has it been implemented in different countries?
Stakeholder perceptions of mental health stigma and poverty in Uganda
Joshua Ssebunnya, Fred Kigozi, Crick Lund, Dorothy Kizza and Elialilia Okello 2009.
According to a range of mental health stakeholders in Uganda, there is a strong interrelationship between poverty, stigma and mental illness. These findings re-affirm the need to recognize material resources as a central element in the fight against stigma of mental illness, and the importance of stigma reduction programmes in protecting the mentally ill from social isolation, particularly in conditions of poverty (pdf, 9 pages).
State Violence Against Detained Women in Mexico
The abuse of women during the police operations last May in San Salvador Atenco, which we document in this alternative report, demonstrates the gender-based violence that the Mexican State and its agents are capable of, using the justification of “reestablishing the rule of law and social peace”. This situation is not unique, but rather demonstrates a pattern of violence against women that is carried out by the Mexican State and enjoys total impunity. There are other similar cases of State violence against women, including those documented by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) (46 pages, pdf)
State Violence In Colombia
This report was jointly prepared by three Colombian human rights NGOs with the support of a large national coalition: The AVRE Corporation (Apoyo a victimas pro recuperacion emocional),
The Comisión Colombiana de Juristas, The CSPP (Comité de Solidaridad con los presos politicos) (115 pages, .pdf)
State Violence In The Philippines
By OMCT (2003)
This report was jointly prepared by the following three Filipino human rights NGOs: PREDA Foundation, The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) Women’s Education, Development, Productivity and Research Organisation (WEDPRO) (69 pages, .pdf)
State Violence in Benin
An alternative Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. (10 pages, .pdf)
State Violence in Greece
GHM,MRGG, SOKADRE, OMCT (2011)
An Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. (33 pages, .pdf)
State Violence in Kenya
An Alternative Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. (120 pages, pdf)
State Violence in Morocco
While noting that the Moroccan government has followed through on its commitment to present its third periodic report on implementation of the Convention Against Torture, the Moroccan Prison Observatory, the Moroccan Association for Women’s Rights and the Bayti Association - backed by the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) - express their regret at having been unable to obtain a copy of the Moroccan government’s report from the Moroccan authorities for the purpose of making comments. (113 pages, .pdf)
State Violence in Sri Lanka
This study is divided into three parts. Part I provides a general overview of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (in prisons in particular) committed by state officials. Parts II and III deal with torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of women and children respectively. (118 pages, .pdf)
State Violence in Uzbekistan
NGO REPORT (2009)
Bureau of Human Rights and Rule of Law Uzbekistan. On the implementation of the ICCPR (8 pages, pdf)
State violence in Chile
This General report has been drawn up by Centro de Salud Mental y Derechos Humanos, CINTRAS, based on the analysis of the most important and recent studies and publications regarding torture and maltreatment in Chile, on a general review of the printed press over the last few years, and on interviews with lawyers specialized in this field, as well as with representatives of entities that work defending the rights of people arrested and imprisoned. (95 pages, pdf)
State violence in Serbia and Montenegro
An alternative Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (80 pages, pdf)
Stop stealing our stories’: the ethics of research with vulnerable groups
E. Pittaway, L. Bartolomei, R. Hugman CRR, 2010
The article discusses the challenges and opportunities faced when integrating participatory methods into human rights-based research. It describes the development of a participatory action research approach designed to fulfil the aim of undertaking advocacy-focused research grounded in human rights and community participation. It reflects the principles of anti-oppressive social work and the ethics of undertaking research with vulnerable populations. In line with other contributions to this special issue, the article explores questions such as: ‘Where does knowledge about the story come from and how is it passed on?’; ‘What spurs ethical thinking at an individual and organizational level?’; and ‘How can ethical sensitivity and strategic effectiveness be combined?’ (23 pages, pdf)
Striking Hard: Torture in Tibet
Physicians for Human Rights (1997)
PHR Report shows Chinese authorities routinely use torture as a means of political repression, punishment and intimidation in Tibet.
(22 pages, .pdf)
Struggling against the silences: exploring rights based responses to the rape and sexual abuse of refugee women and girls.
Linda Bartolomei UNSW. EDU 2009
This thesis examines the widespread occurrence of rape of women and girls in conflict and refugee settings. It contains many horrendous and complex case studies of rape and sexual violence. Using an intersectional framework, a range of theories is used to analyse these and in doing so the compounding effects of rape and sexual abuse in conflict and refugee situations is identified. The study uses a feminist action research methodology, involving seven complex cycles. These involve field work in Kenya and Thailand and are informed by the theoretical frameworks of post-colonial feminism, critical and anti-oppressive social work, and human rights. The study explores the silences surrounding rape and the reasons why major advances in international law and policy have had such little impact (432 pages, pdf).
Struggling to Survive: Children in Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, April 2006
In 2006, DRC continues to endure the world’s deadliest humanitarian crisis, with more than 38,000 people dying every month as direct and indirect consequences of the armed conflict, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Approximately 45 percent of these deaths occur among children under age 18. In addition, children are targets of human rights violations committed by armed forces and groups on a daily basis. The overwhelming majority of these crimes are committed in an environment of utter impunity.
(both in French and English, and in .html and .pdf)
Study of community-based child protection mechanisms in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
War Child UK 2010
By mapping existing community-based protection initiatives, structures and approaches, the study intended to identify effective and sustainable community-based mechanisms and offer recommendations in order to help support the development of its community-based child protection strategy in Uganda and in the DRC (pdf, 75 pages).
Sudan’s Children at a Crossroads: An Urgent Need for Protection
The report addresses violations against children in six major categories identified by the United Nations Security Council. These categories include killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction, denial of humanitarian assistance, attacks on schools and hospitals and recruitment and use of children into armed forces and groups. In addition, the report discusses various other violations that continue to be committed against children and their families, such as forced labor, displacement and trafficking.
(both .html and .pdf, 76 pages)
Survivors of Politically Motivated Torture: A Large, Growing, and Invisible Population of Crime Victims
Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis (2000)
Adapting to a new environment is a complicated and overwhelming experience for all new immigrants and refugees who have fled unsafe conditions in their native countries. For refugees who are also survivors of politically motivated torture, this transition is even more difficult because of the physical and psychological consequences of the torture they endured.
(18 pages, .pdf)
Survivors of the war in the Northern Kosovo: violence exposure, risk factors and public health effects of an ethnic conflict.
Shr-Jie Wang et al. 2010.
The aim of this population-based study was to assess the long-lasting effects of ethnic conflict on health and well-being (with a focus on injury and persistent pain) at family and community level. The possible risk factors for victimisation during the conflict and factors contributing to healing, have also been investigated (16 pages, pdf).
Survivors of torture and trauma
Burma Watch International (2001)
The treatment of torture survivors comprises psychological, somatic and social rehabilitation. By helping torture survivors and by showing respect and dignity towards them, we are helping the suppressed and those who have worked for free conditions in our country.
Survivors of war in northern Kosovo (III): The role of anger and hatred in pain and PTSD and their interactive effects on career outcome, quality of sleep and suicide ideation
Shr-Jie Wang, Rushiti F, Sejdiu X, Pacolli S, Gashi B, Salihu F, Modvig J. DIGNITY 2012
This study, based on a household survey of 125 victims of torture and massive violence in Kosovo, aimed to expand current understanding of the diagnostic overlap of pain and PTSD and explore their independent and interactive effect on career change, sleep disorder and suicide ideation. The role of anger and hatred as contributing factors to the persistence of pain and PTSD were also examined (PDF, 16p).
Survivors of war in the Northern Kosovo (II): baseline clinical and functional assessment and lasting effects on the health of a vulnerable population
Shr-Jie Wang et al 2010
This study documents torture and injury experience and investigates emotional well-being of victims of massive violence identified during a household survey in Mitrovicë district in Kosovo. The victims reported a high prevalence of severe pain and emotional disturbance. They showed high BMI and a reduced level of physical fitness (13 pages, pdf).
Symbolic closure through memory, reparation and revenge in post-conflict societies
Brandon Hamber & Richard Wilson (2002)
Countries going through democratic transition have to address how they will deal with the human rights crimes committed during the authoritarian era. In the context of amnesty for perpetrators, truth commissions have emerged as a standard institution to document the violent past. Increasingly, claims are made that truth commissions have beneficial psychological consequences; that is, that they facilitate 'catharsis', or 'heal the nation', or allow the nation to 'work through' a violent past. This article draws upon trauma counseling experience and anthropological fieldwork among survivors to challenge these claims in the context of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Syrian mental health professionals as refugees in Jordan: establishing mental health services for fellow refugees
Abo-Hilal, Mohammad; Hoogstad, Mathijs 2013
While the conflict in Syria rages on, one psychiatrist and several psychologists, all of them Syrian refugees, have founded ‘Syria Bright Future’, a volunteer organisation that provides psychosocial and mental health services to Syrian refugees in Jordan. This field report describes how the organisation assists families in settling after their harsh journey, in adapting to new living conditions and circumstances, coping with difficulties they encounter and strengthening their resilience. ‘Syria Bright Future’ does this by providing short term support and counselling, and by referring individuals and families to other international and Jordanian organisations, or to informal support networks of Syrian refugees for further assistance (pdf, 5 pages).
The publication is intended to provide a multidisciplinary forum for the exchange of original research and systematic reviews among professionals concerned with the biomedical, psychological and social interface of torture.
TORTURE: Asian and Global Perspectives Magazine
A bi-monthly magazine on the issue of torture. Torture is often used by authoritarian regimes as a means of maintaining control and suppressing dissent. Our policy is against any form of torture and creates a common platform to everyone in Asia and around the globe, to come forward to speak out against torture. ISSN 2304-134X (print) | ISSN 2304-1358 (online)
Tales From the Dark: Testemonies About the Communist Repression
Assistance Centre for Torture Survivors (ACET) (2003)
This book contains authentic experiences of people who survived the communist terror. (152 pages, .pdf)
The Albanian Mental Health System
Describes the mental health system in Albania. Methods: data were gathered in 2003 and in 2004 using a new WHO instrument, World Health Organization Assessment Instrument for Mental health Systems (WHO-AIMS), designed for collecting essential information on the mental health system of low and middle income countries. (17 pages, pdf)
The Asylum-seeking Child in Europe
Hans E Andersson, Henry Ascher,
Ulla Björnberg, Marita Eastmond
and Lotta Mellander 2003
Children constitute an important part of asylum seekers whether they arrive With their families or alone. In 2003, there were more than 17 million refugees (43 per cent of refugees), asylum seekers and others who are of concern to the UNHCR. Of these millions of people, it is estimated that children under the age of five make up 11 per cent and 32 per cent are children aged six to seventeen. Many of these children have experienced war, violence, acts of cruelty and similar traumas. Others have been exposed indirectly through their parents‘ traumatizing experiences. Such experiences are today increasingly recognized as being a similar burden to a child as if they are assaulted themselves. The adults often have very big problems and the children run the risk of having their problems concealed. Registration data and statistics are generally not produced in a way that makes the exposed situation of children visible. The children‘s reasons for asylum in their own right are rarely investigated.
The Collective Trauma Project
By Marc-Jan Trapman (1997)
The concept of Collective Trauma outlines many forms in which a community can be impaired as a consequence of war, armed violence, or other sudden, external forces.
The Colombian conflict: a description of a mental health program
Elisabeth Sanchez-Padilla, German Casas, Rebecca F Grais1 (MSF 2009)
Colombia has been seriously affected by an internal armed conflict for more than 40 years affecting mainly the civilian population, who is forced to displace, suffers kidnapping, extortion, threats and assassinations. Between 2005 and 2008, Médecins Sans Frontières-France provided psychological care and treatment in the region of Tolima, a strategic place in the armed conflict. The mental health program was based on a short-term multi-faceted treatment developed according to the psychological and psychosomatic needs of the population. Here we describe the population attending during 2005-2008, in both urban and rural settings, as well as the psychological treatment provided during this period and its outcomes (6 pages, pdf).
The Continuing Ordeal: Long Term Needs of Survivors of Torture
Raul Berdichevsky CCVT(1995)
Victims of torture are faced with the immediate task of coping with the physical and psychological pain and suffering associated with what was done to them during the torture process.
The Effect of Chronic Traumatic Experience on Palestinian Children in the Gaza Strip
Altawil, Mohamed A S (2008)
two studies were conducted in order to examine the psychological, social, somatic and educational effects of chronic traumatic experience on Palestinian children over the six years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada 2000-2006 (pdf).
The Fate of Islamists Rendered to Egypt
Human Rights Watch (2005)
The practice of rendering wanted persons to Egypt and other countries in the region, despite the high risk that they will be subjected to torture, dates back to the mid-1990s. In many cases the returning country is a neighboring Arab or South Asian state. In some cases the United States has played a role in the transfer. In most cases there is no indication that any form of judicial procedure, such as a formal extradition request and hearing, was used; even where warrants may have been issued, in the face of Egypt’s
terrible record of torture the state holding the suspect should have declined the request, in accordance with international law forbidding any country from sending someone to a country, including his or her country of origin, where he or she will likely be subjected to torture. (64 pages, pdf).
The IRC’s emergency education programme for Chechen children and adolescents
By Theresa Stichick Betancourt, Rebecca Winthrop, Wendy Smith and Gillian Dunn (2002)
Over the past decade humanitarian actors have focused attention and resources on developing education as a specific intervention aimed at mitigating some of the physical and psychosocial distress affecting children during war.
(3 pages, .pdf)
The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is unstable and rapidly shifting in some areas. This report contains the most current information available about Congolese children up to early June 2003.
(38 pages, .pdf)
The International Response to Conflict and Genocide:Lessons from the Rwanda Experience
J.Eriksson et al. Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda (1996)
The primary objective of this report is to examine the effectiveness, impact and relevance of international assistance on repatriation, rehabilitation, reconstruction and long-term development in Rwanda in the aftermath of the violence that destroyed or severely damaged much of Rwanda`s social, cultural and economic institutions (87 pages, pdf).
The Physical and Psychological Sequelae of Torture
Burma Watch International (2000)
The most dramatic psychological consequence of torture is the post-traumatic stress disorder. The common symptoms included insomnia and night mares, memory loss, and poor concentration.
The Politics of Torture: Dispelling the Myths and Understanding the Survivors
By Joan Simalchik, CCVT (1996)
Understanding the modem use of torture entails the dispelling of myths about its nature and purpose. There remains a perception that torture is practiced randomly, that it is punishment carried to an extreme, that it is performed by psychopaths or sadists, that it exists outside of governmental responsibility and is practiced by "less civilized" societies.
The Poverty Barrier: The Right to Rehabilitation for Survivors of Torture in the UK
Jo Pettitt, Fredom from Torture, 2013
The complex interrelationship between torture and poverty has been the subject of growing interest in recent years in line with the global recognition that all human rights, including civil and political and socio-economic rights, are 'universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated' and there has long been acknowledgement of its significance for the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. (pdf, 99 pages)
The Power Of Storytelling and Reading in Healing Children Orphaned or Traumatized by War in Northern Uganda
By Beatrice Lamwaka, Makerere University (2004)
This paper is going to deal with storytelling and reading needs and interests of former child soldiers and victims traumatized by the war in northern Uganda.
(10 pages, .pdf)
The Role of Women in Stabilization and Reconstruction
United States Institute of Peace, 2006
This report summarizes the challenges in supporting women in the process of transitional justice, also focusing on the important role women play here. There are also suggestions how to implement solutions (pdf, 24 pages).
The Trauma of Ongoing War in Chechnya
Medecins Sans Frontieres (2004)
Quantitative assesment of living conditions, and psychosocial and general health status among war displaced in Chechnya and Ingushetia. (44 pages, .pdf)
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa: relation to psychiatric status and forgiveness among survivors of human rights abuses
By Debra Kaminer (2001)
It has recently been the task of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to expose and document human rights abuses perpetrated under the system of apartheid. As part of the TRC process, many survivors provided testimony in either a private statement or at a public hearing.
The contemporary refugee crisis: an overview of mental health challenges
D. Silove et al. 2017
This paper considers contemporary issues in the refugee mental health field, including developments in research, conceptual models, social and psychological interventions, and policy. Prevalence data yielded by cross sectional epidemiological studies do not allow a clear distinction to be made between situational forms of distress and frank mental disorder, a shortcoming that may be addressed by longitudinal studies (WPA).
The cultural dimension of war traumas in central Mozambique: The case of Gorongosa
This paper is a preliminary discussion of a more enlarged and longitudinal research project on the prevalence of post-war related symptoms, prevention and intervention strategies in some rural areas of Gorongosa, a District belonging to Sofala Province in central Mozambique.
The impact of child detention in occupied Palestinian territory
Save the children Sweden 2012
This report aims at giving an insight into the treatment of children in armed conflict, with a primary focus on children in detention. It also provides an overview on psychosocial responses, as developed by Save the Children and the EJ-YMCA, whereas the last part discusses the role of community in the re-integration process of children and presents a list of recommendations when dealing with this subject (pdf, 98 pages).
The impact of conflict on children - the role of small arms.
Julia Freedson, Watchlist (2002)
This paper examines the impact of armed conflict on children, with a focus on the role of small arms.
(8 pages, .pdf)
The impact of conflict on women and girls in west and central Africa
Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, are still embroiled in, or emerging from, long-term warfare. Women and girls in these countries are most vulnerable to gender-based violence and need special protection measures. This study on the situation of war-affected girls and women in the region highlights programmes being implemented with partners to address the impact of conflict, and recommends how UNICEF can more proactively champion the rights of girls - particularly adolescent girls (44 pages, pdf).
The mental health disaster in conflict settings: Can scientific research help?
Frank Neuner and Thomas Elbert, 2007.
What gains have been made in the fight against traumatic disorders and other mental health problems in conflict areas? What do we know about the impact on individual, family and community functioning? Given what we know about the effects of trauma, it is likely that we will also see a rise in substance abuse and suicidality, violence, and a worsening of physical health (pdf, 3 pages).
The mental health of children affected by armed conflict: Protective processes and pathways to resilience
Theresa Stichick Betancourt and Kashif Tanveer Khan, 2008. This paper examines the concept of resilience in the context of children affected by armed conflict. Resilience has been frequently viewed as a unique quality of certain ‘invulnerable’ children. In contrast, this paper argues that a number of protective processes contribute to resilient mental health outcomes in children when considered through the lens of the child's social ecology.
The mental health of war affected children: a community based rehabilitation and reconciliation programme in Sri Lanka’s eastern province
Robert Chase, Kenneth Bush 2002
The mental health effects of children affected by militarized violence are receiving increasing attention as the magnitude of the problem worldwide and its implications is becoming recognized. The trends in child mental health in Sri Lanka related to war and other factors are reviewed, and local project context in Eastern Sri Lanka is described. Since 1995 research and program development in addresses psychological distress in schoolchildren from multiple factors, many directly war related. (17 pages, .pdf)
The prevention of torture in Burma
Burma Watch International (2001)
Torture is an instrument of oppression. Reports of widespread torture were more commonly received from regions controlled by the military regime but undergoing political unrest, armed conflicts, and other internal strife.
The psychological treatment of refugees and asylum seekers: what does the literature tell us?
Robert Schweitzer, Lisa Buckley and Donata Rossi, (2002)
Over the past five years, Australia has accepted approximately 50 000 individuals through its Humanitarian program. To integrate these individuals specialised medical and psychological services have been established in major centres of Australia.
The psychosocial impact of war, HIV and other high-risk situations on girls and boys in West and Central Africa.
Jenny Morgan and Alice Beherendt, 2009.
The psychological and physical suffering of children expressed in the testimonies makes for disturbing reading. But the findings need to be understood for what they are: reports on children in extreme situations where traditional and modern protection mechanisms of states, families and communities have failed (64 pages, pdf) .
The rape of men: the darkest secret of war
Will Storr, The Guardian. July 2011
Sexual violence is one of the most horrific weapons of war, an instrument of terror used against women. Yet huge numbers of men are also victims. In this harrowing report, Will Storr travels to Uganda to meet traumatised survivors, and reveals how male rape is endemic in many of the world's conflicts. Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility.
The relationship of SGBV to Sexual-risk Behavior among Refugee Women: The Mediating Role of Depression
Johannes John-Langba, 2005.
This study investigated the relationships of SGBV, learned helplessness, depression, and sexual-risk behaviors among refugee women in Botswana utilizing a cross-sectional research design and the theory of learned helplessness. A total of 402 female refugees who were at least 21 years old residing at the Dukwi refugee camp participated in this investigation within a three-month period (67 pages, pdf).
The resource book on mental health, human rights and legislation
There are many ways to improve the lives of people with mental disorders. One important way is through policies, plans and programmes that lead to better services. To implement such
policies and plans, one needs good legislation–that is, laws that place the policies and plans in the context of internationally accepted human rights standards and good practices. This Resource Book aims to assist countries in drafting, adopting and implementing such legislation. It does not prescribe a particular legislative model for countries, but rather highlights the key issues and principles to be incorporated into legislation (199 pages, pdf).
The right to Redress
Committee against torture 2012. Article 14 provides that States Parties should ensure a victim of torture with an effective remedy and that there is an enforceable right to compensation and rehabilitation. The Committee against torture has in this third general comment explained and clarified what this particular article means, (pdf, 10 pages).
The right to reparation for survivors - Recommendations for reparation for survivors of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi
IBUKA and its 15 member organisations, the Survivors Fund (SURF) and REDRESS (“the Organisations”) submit this discussion paper to the Government of Rwanda to help progress discussions on reparation for survivors of the genocide with survivors, survivor organisations and other stakeholders. The Organisations propose a range of options that could be explored further with a view to ensuring that survivors ultimately secure reparation, in particular in the form of rehabilitation, restitution and compensation (pdf, 24 pages).
The road from soldier back to child
Africa Recovery (2001)
About a third of the world's child soldiers are in Africa. According to a report by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, a non-governmental alliance that includes Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, an estimated 300,000 child soldiers, some as young as seven, are actively fighting in 41 countries, with about 120,000 of them in Africa. Another 500,000 children worldwide may be in paramilitary organizations.
The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies.
UN Secretary-General 2004.
The report is to highlight key issues and lessons learned from the worldwide work of United Nations Commission’s in their experiences in the promotion of justice and the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict societies. Specially the leanings that have been a raised during the work with societies that have been victims of large-scale abuses. The concepts of Justice, Rule of Law and Transitional Justice that United Nations commissions worldwide takes as point of referent are also explained in this report. (pdf, 23 pages)
The struggle that must be won
Fabian af Petersens IRCT (2005)
A book published on the occasion of the IRCT's 20th anniversary, in 2005, tells the history of the organisation through personal tales and testimonies (100 pages, pdf).
The tortured, not the torturers, are ashamed
By David Shapiro, Social Research (2003)
As for the perpetrators of torture, the rapists, the enforcers of apartheid, the Nazi medical experimenters, and the rest, there is little evidence of shame.
The trauma of ongoing conflict and displacement in Chechnya: quantitative assessment of living conditions, and psychosocial and general health status among war displaced in Chechnya and Ingushetia
Kaz de Jong, Saskia van der Kam et al. 2007.
The study demonstrates that the health needs of internally displaced in both locations are similarly high and equally unaddressed. The high levels of past confrontation with violence and ongoing exposure in both locations is likely to contribute to a further deterioration of the health status of internally displaced. As of March 2007, concerns remain about how the return process is being managed by the authorities (pdf 13 pages).
The trauma of war
Every conflict forces children to live through some terrible experiences. Indeed, millions of children have been present at events far beyond the worst nightmares of most adults.
Therapeutic Governance: the Politics of Psychosocial Intervention
Vanessa Pupavac, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, UiN (2001)
This paper critically analyses the significance of psychosocial intervention as a new form of international therapeutic governance based on social risk management.
(17 pages, .doc)
Therapeutic group work with adolescent refugees in the context of war and its stresses
By Natasa Ljubomirovic MD (1999)
Being a refugee is a condition of extreme stress for any person as it is associated with many traumatic experiences. A traumatic event can be defined as an event that surpasses usual human experiences. Its impact depends not only on its severity, but also on how the individual experiences the event.
Therapeutising Refugees, Pathologising Populations: International Psycho-Social Programmes in Kosovo. New Issues in Refugee Research
By Vanessa Pupavac, University of Nottingham (2002)
The first half of the paper discusses material that questions the international projection of refugees as traumatised. The second half of the paper explores psycho-social intervention as a new mode of external therapeutic governance.5 The paper suggests that the influence of a Western therapeutic ethos on international policy does not necessarily represent a humanist turn. Psycho-social intervention does not just simply entail cultural imperialism, that is, the imposition of a Western therapeutic model on other societies, which have their own coping strategies.
(19 pages, pdf)
Therapy with Refugee Children
By Nooria Mehraby (2000)
Refugee children living in Australia have usually survived a multitude of traumatic experiences in their country of origin. Exposed to war, persecution, extreme deprivation and sometimes torture, they are prone to post traumatic stress disorder and physical ailments.
Together Against Torture
Brochure about CINAT - six international NGOs working which are committed to ending and preventing torture, to bringing torturers to account, providing rehabilitation and obtaining justice and reparation for survivors of torture.
(32 pages, .pdf)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2011
This entry is in four parts. The first part addresses the question what is torture?; the second part, what is wrong with torture?; the third part, is torture ever morally justifiable?; and the last part, should torture ever be legalised or otherwise institutionalised
Torture against children in rebel captivity in Northern Uganda: physical and psychological effects and implications for clinical practice
TORTURE Volume 19, Number 2, 2009
Although torture in adults is well documented, studies that document its use against children, especially during war, are rare. This study documented the use of torture against children and its physical and psychological consequences during the war in Northern Uganda (15 pages, PDF).
Torture and Other Forms of Ill-Treatment in Greece in 2003
A report prepared by Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) for the EU Network for Independent Experts in Fundamental Rights at its Hearing (28 pages, .pdf)
Torture and War Trauma Survivors in Primary Care Practice
Survivors International (1996)
Close to one million refugees from around the world have entered the United States, fleeing repression, war, terrorism, and disease. It has been estimated that among these are thousands who have experienced torture. Many refugees and immigrants will appear in the offices of health care professionals with symptoms that may be related either directly or indirectly to torture.
Torture in Bangladesh 1971-2004
Bangladesh ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other ruel,Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1998 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2000, both of which prohibit the use of torture and oblige States parties to hold perpetrators of torture accountable and to provide remedies and reparation to survivors. These ratifications constituted major steps forward in Bangladesh’s efforts to bring about an end to the entrenched practices of torture and ill-treatment.
(45 pages, .pdf)
Torture in South Africa. Exploring torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment through the media.
CSVR Amanda Dissel, Steffen Jensen and Sandra Roberts, 2009.
In the absence of official records, this report uses media reports to explore torture and CIDT in South Africa today. There are multiple methodological problems associated with such a method. While victims of alleged torture usually complain to official mechanisms, the media often provides a more immediate avenue of complaint, and it may become a prompt for official action (pdf, 63 pages.
Torture in Uganda A Baseline Study on the Situation of Torture Survivors in Uganda
The objective of this Baseline Study on Torture in Uganda is to obtain a clear understanding of the situation of victims of torture and conflict in the country and to assess the key issues pertinent to improving access to justice and adequate and effective forms of reparation. The Baseline Study is intended to serve as the foundation for further work in support of torture survivors in the country, and is intended to be of benefit not only to REDRESS and ACTV, but other civil society groups, government agencies and others working towards these goals in Uganda (62 pages, pdf).
Torture in War: Consequences and Rehabilitation of Victims - Yugoslav Experience
Spiric, Z., Knezevic, G., Jovic, V. and Opacic, G. (2004)
The idea to put together this book came after two years of work in the Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (CRTV) within International Aid Network (IAN) Belgrade. It is the expression of a long-felt need of professionals in IAN to share their experiences in rehabilitation of torture victims with the wider expert, professional and scientific public.
Torture in children
Jose Quiroga, IRCT 2009.
Torture in children happens during peace times and during political violence and war conflicts. The majority of torture victims happen during peace times. The high-risk groups are impoverished children living in the street, children deprived of parental care, children in conflict with the law, and children in detention. During political violence and war the high risk children are the children detained during political violence, child soldiers, children internally displaced in refugee camps, detained children during the war against terrorism and children tortured by peacekeeping forces (22 pages, pdf).
Torture in the Americas: The law and practice
Redress and CNDDHH 2013
This report builds on the presentations and discussions of the Americas Regional Experts Meeting on the Law and Practice on Torture, as well as information shared by experts on the basis of their expertise and experience in litigation and advocacy on torture related issues. The participants completed a questionnaire regarding the law and practice of torture in their jurisdiction and made presentations at the meeting covering national practice as well as thematic issues. The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange information and experiences on litigating torture cases and advocating legal and institutional reforms (54 pages, PDF).
Trauma and Reconstruction in Kobe, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Cambodia
By Richard Mollica, Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Harvard School of Public Health (1997)
The end of the twentieth century has seen an increase in societies devastated by mass violence. The world has also witnessed natural disasters of extraordinary proportions, such as the Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake. Problems of violence and natural disaster and resulting trauma affect millions of people worldwide and will be central issues in the next century.
(3 pages, .pdf)
Trauma and Transitional Justice in divided Societies
Judy Barsalou (2005)
United States Institute of Peace
The international community now recognizes that accounting for what happened during the conflict, seeking justice for those who were wronged, and promoting peaceful reconciliation among combatants and their broader societies are among the most important needs of countries emerging from violent conflict. While much has been written about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—the psychological distress that individuals may develop following exposure to an upsetting event outside the range of normal human experience—the role that trauma plays in these processes on the broader societal level is less well understod.
(12 pages pdf)
Trauma and mental health in Zimbabwe
Parsons, Reeler, Fisher, Mpande 2011
Organised violence and torture has been documented in all the last three decades of Zimbabwe‘s history, as was indicated earlier.vii One study showed that 1 adult in 10 over the age of 30 years reported torture and was suffering from a clinically significant psychological disorder as a consequence,viii and high rates of torture and consequent psychological disorder were found in a study of former guerrilla soldiers from the Liberation War of the 1970s. The paper was originally put together to stimulate and deepen discussion at the workshop on healing held at Mandel Centre, Harare in July 2011 and should be read in conjunction with the workshop report where the experience and ideas of participants are recorded (pdf, 21 pages).
Trauma, Peacebuilding and Development: An Africa Region Perspective
Michael G. Wessells, 2008.
Armed conflict and its aftermath impose an enormous burden of psychological and social suffering on affected populations. During the 1990s and early in the 21st century, this suffering was conceptualized in terms of a trauma paradigm, which held that life threatening experiences cause individual traumatic reactions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and also collective maladies such as collective trauma. In many regions, practitioners who adhere to a trauma paradigm assume that unhealed traumas may contribute to ongoing cycles of violence and thwart peacebuilding efforts, and they seek to alleviate trauma through individualized approaches such as trauma counseling .
Traumatic events and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder amongst Sudanese nationals, refugees and Ugandans in the West Nile
Unni Krishnan Karunakara, Frank Neuner et al. 2004
Symptoms of PTSD in war-affected Sudanese populations can be partly explained by traumatic event exposures. The high prevalence of violence and symptoms of PTSD in refugee populations highlight the need for better protection and security in refugee settlements. Humanitarian agencies must consider the provision of mental health services for populations affected by war and forced migration (pdf, 11 pages).
Truth commissions and gender: A South African case study
Ayumi Kusafuka, ICTJ 2008
South Africa’s gendered past was never substantially addressed by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) despite attempts by women’s groups to ensure its inclusion (pdf, 24 pages.
Ttrauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in male survivors of sexual abuse
C. Anderson, American 2015 Common Types of and Prevalence Estimates for Exposure to Traumatic Stressors. Within the U.S. as many as 1 in 4 males will experience some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime. The number of males who are sexually abused during military service is greater than the number of female service members. As many as 50% of the children who are sex trafficked in the US are males (Pdf, 3 pages).
UNHCR issues guidelines on protection of male rape victims
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). October, 2012
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against men and boys has generally been mentioned as a footnote in reports. There are no detailed statistics on the number of male victims of SGBV but, the phenomenon is increasingly being recognized as a protection concern in conflict and forced displacement situations. Despite the prevailing taboo, there had been progress over the last decade in reporting of incidents.
Understanding and coping with traumatic stress, Part Three: Cultural issues
Headington Institute 2012
Traumatic stress is not just a problem for western humanitarian workers who relocate (usually temporarily) to developing countries and disaster zones for the sake of their job. In fact, the majority of humanitarian workers worldwide are from non-western cultural backgrounds, working in their home country.
Understanding mental health needs of Southeast Asian refugees:
E. Hsu, C.A. Davies, D.J. Hansen 2004
The main purpose is to review the relevant literature pertaining to Southeast Asian refugees’ experiences and to understand the manifestation of psychiatric disorders by examining historical, cultural, and contextual challenges (22 pages, pdf).
Victims' Perspectives about the Human Rights Violations Hearings
Social Research and Analysis (SORA) Ruth Picker 2005
While outside of South Africa the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was widely perceived as a model process for dealing with a legacy of violence and human rights violations, within the country substantial criticism has been voiced as to how "just" the TRC really was and on which level shortcomings and failures - either of a fundamental nature, rooted in the concept of the TRC, or as an artefact of how an "initially good idea" was carried out - may be located.
Violence Against Women in Burundi
The aim of the report is to show the difficulties faced by thousands of women in Burundi due to the increase of violence against women. It is based on General Recommendation No19 of the Committee that affirms gender-based violence is a prohibited form of discrimination (7 pages, pdf)
Violence Against Women in France
Report prepared for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women - 29th session; this report will examine violence against women in France, specifically violence in the family, in the general community, in immigrant communities, and in detention(42 pages, pdf).
Violence Against Women in Greece
Greek Helsinki Monitor and OMCT 2002
Report submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at its exceptional session
5-23 August 2002 (76 pages, .pdf)
Violence Against Women in Kyrgyzstan
Advocates for human rights 2011
The problems of gender and domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan have a very complex background: the traditional models of attitudes towards women, harsh economic situation and the new demands of the market economy all have their effect on women`s lives.
Violence Against Women in Sri Lanka
Report prepared for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women - 26th session
14 January - 1 February 2002 (54 pages, .pdf)
Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Marie Mossi (ASADHO-RAF)and Mariana Duarte (OMCT) (2006)
Alternative report prepared for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women 36th session – 7-25 August 2006
(32 pages, .pdf)
Violence against Women in Georgia
Although the promises made by the Georgian Republic in the aftermath of the Beijing conference are now starting to be fulfilled at a fast pace, after many years of inaction, much still remains to be done in order to advance women’s rights and ensure gender equality in Georgia. Indeed recent measures have been taken with regard to domestic violence and trafficking in persons but they have not been extended to women victims of other types of violence (40 pages, pdf).
Violence against Women in Nicaragua
Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by Nicaragua - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women - Twenty-fifth session - 2-20 July 2001 (35 pages, .pdf)
Violence against Women in Tunisia
Report prepared for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination - 27th session 3-21 June 2002 against Women (50 pages, pdf)
Violence against Women in Zambia
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women - 27th session 3-21 June 2002 (52 pages, pdf)
Violence against women in Vietnam
Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by Vietnam
- Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women - 25th session 2-20 - June 2001 (47 pages, .pdf)
Violence against women in metropolitan South Africa: A study on impact and service delivery
Bollen, S., Artz, L., Vetten, L. & Louw, A. (1999)
The past several years have been marked by increasing activity in the area of violence against women in South Africa. Through the efforts of the women’s movement, service providers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the academic community, violence against women has been brought to the forefront of public and political attention.
Visits to detained torture victims by the ICRC (I): Management, documentation, and follow-up
Marina Staiff ICRC 2000
What good and what harm can visits to detained torture victims do? This question is deliberately provocative, for it may seem somewhat unreasonable to wonder how visits to prisoners (l) who have been seriously ill-treated and even tortured could themselves do harm if those visits are carried out by an independent organization staffed by well-intentioned individuals following recognized procedures.
Visits to detained torture victims by the ICRC (II): The psychological impact of visits and interviews with detained torture victims
Marina Staiff ICRC (2000)
Torture is an experience without parallel; it is capable of causing a wide range of physical and psychological suffering. At the psychological level, torture places the victim in a position of helplessness end distress powerful enough to produce mental and emotional damage regardless of his pre-torture psychological status. The psychological effects of torture, however, occur in the context of personal meaning, personality development, and social, political, and cultural factors.
WHO-aims report on mental health system in Uruguay
The goal of collecting this information is to improve the mental health system and to provide a baseline for monitoring the change. This will enable Uruguay to develop information-based mental health plans with clear base-line information and targets. It will also be useful to monitor progress in implementing reform policies, providing community services, and involving users, families and other stakeholders in mental health promotion, prevention, care and rehabilitation. (21 pages, pdf)
What Is Psychological Trauma?
We all use the word "trauma" in every day language to mean a highly stressful event. But the key to understanding traumatic events is that it refers to extreme stress that overwhelms a person`s ability to cope.
What happened to the women? Gender and reparations for human rights violations
Ruth Rubio-Marín ed.,2006.
Rather than starting out from a preconceived list of items that a gendersensitive reparations program has to abide by, it would seem that, in order to claim that women have been taken into account, a policy of reparations must begin by including the voices of women (pdf. 352 pages).
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
National Institute of Mental Health
There is a growing awareness among healthcare providers that traumatic experiences are widespread and that it is common for people who have been traumatized to develop medical and psychological symptoms associated with the experience.
What is reparation?
REDRESS is a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation. This article gives more information about what reparation means for the survivor.
When Forced Migrants Return ‘Home’: The Psychosocial Difficulties Returnees Encounter in the Reintegration Process
Tania Ghanem Refugee Studies Centre (2003)
Since the 1980s onwards, voluntary repatriation has been promoted by governments, NGOs and UN agencies as the ultimate solution to refugees’ displacement. Policy makers, donor countries, practitioners and researchers have typically disregarded, or at least overlooked, the meaning of repatriation from the returnees’ point of view. It is assumed that beyond the technical aspects of repatriation, the return of forced migrants to their country of origin does not raise any particular challenge to those concerned. A returnee is perceived as the reverse condition of a refugee. While refugees are seen as uprooted and displaced, returnees are considered to be naturally ‘re-rooted’ and placed back in the right order of things. (58 pages, pdf)
When a Terrorist Act Occurs
Ceridian Corporation (2001)
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, in Washington, D.C., and across the country are affecting people worldwide. An act of terrorism makes all of us fear for our safety and the safety of our children. It can shake our feelings of security and leave us feeling vulnerable. Here are some ways to find support and to help your child and the people you love in the hours and days ahead.
Women war survivors of the 1989-2003 conflict in Liberia: the health consequences of sexual torture
Ruth Ojiambo-Ochieng, Helen Liebling-Kalifani & Juliet Were-Oguttu, 2009.
Levels of psychological trauma are very high resulting in a large percentage of women not being able to work. The stigma and shame of women’s experiences and their reproductive health problems has further impact on their identities and a gendered understanding of trauma is proposed. However, Liberian women demonstrated resilience; contributing to peace processes, taking up male roles and bringing the first ever woman Head of State to power (Powerpoint 24 pages).
Women, Peace and Security
By UN (2000)
On 31 October 2000, the Security Council adopted resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, which builds on the Pres idential Statement of 8 March 2000 and a series of Council resolutions on children and armed conflict, the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the prevention of armed conflict.
(192 pages, .pdf)
Women’s Access to Justice for Gender-Based Violence: A practitioner’s Guide
Lisa Gormley, Ian Seiderman, Briony Potts and Alex Conte. International Commission of Justice, 2016.
Under international human rights law, persons who suffer violations of their human rights have the right to effective remedies and reparation for the harm they have suffered. Gaining access to justice for acts of gender-based violence is important to secure relief at the individual level, but also to promote change at the systemic level in terms of laws and practice. This Practitioners Guide seeks to assist lawyers and other human rights advocates, but ultimately it is designed to benefit the women on whose behalf lawyers and advocates act and who are seeking justice (pdf, 372).
Women’s Health and Human Rights in Afghanistan
Z. Rasekh, H.M. Bauer, M. Manos, V. Lacopino, 1998.
The current health and human rights status of women described in this report suggests that the combined effects of war-related trauma and human rights abuses by Taliban officials have had a profound effect on Afghan women’s health. Moreover, support for women’s human rights by Afghan women suggests that Taliban policies regarding women are incommensurate with the interests, needs, and health of Afghan women (8 pages)
“We`ll Kill You if You Cry”
Human Rights Watch (2003)
Rape in wartime is an act of violence that targets sexuality. Moreover, conflict-related sexual violence serves
a military and political strategy. The humiliation, pain, and fear inflicted by the perpetrators serve to dominate and degrade not only the individual victim but also her community. Combatants who rape in war often explicitly link their acts of sexual violence to this broader social degradation (75 pages, pdf).