Mental health conditions in conflict situations are much more widespread than we thought: But there’s a lot we can do to support people
Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO, 2019
“Today, there is no shortage of countries in conflict. UN estimates suggest that in 2019, nearly 132 million people in 42 countries around the world will need humanitarian assistance resulting from conflict or disaster. Nearly 69 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by violence and conflict, the highest number since World War II.
Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to help them. Indeed, there’s a lot we are doing.
In 2019 WHO is addressing mental health in countries and territories with populations affected by large-scale emergencies across the world, in Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, among others.
In many countries in the world, ignorance about mental health and mental illness remains widespread. The uptake of mental health care during conflict and other emergencies, in countries where such support has been limited, can lead to the identification of people who are tied up, locked in cages, hidden from society. In many cases, it is this very support that helps dispel myths about mental illness and leads to treatment and care and a path towards a more dignified life.
We have also learned that, when the political will exists, emergencies can be catalysts for building quality mental health services”, Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO
International Commission of Jurists, 2017
This report analyzes States obligations under international law to ensure acts of enforced disappearance constitute a distinct, autonomous offence under national law. It also provides an overview of the practice of enforced disappearance, focusing specifically on the status of the criminalization of the practice, in five South Asian countries: India,Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Shr-Jie Wang et al. RCT and BRCT
History of torture and other traumatic experience of violence and functional assessment of victims.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.
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
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.
Bangladesh ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other rules. 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 Bangladeshs efforts to bring about an end to the entrenched practices of torture and ill-treatment.
Children Affected by Armed Conflict in South Asia: A review of trends and issues 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. (for historical reference)