World Health Organization (WHO), 2013
This WHO report shares detailed accounts from 10 diverse emergency-affected areas, each of which built better-quality and more sustainable mental health systems despite challenging circumstances. Cases originate from countries small to large; low to middle-income; across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East; and affected by large-scale natural disasters, prolonged conflict, and large-scale influxes of refugees. While their contexts varied considerably, all were able to convert short-term interest in population mental health into sustainable, long-term improvements.
This WHO report goes beyond aspirational recommendations by providing detailed descriptions of how mental health reform was accomplished in these situations. Importantly, case contributors report not only their major achievements, but also their most difficult challenges and how they were overcome. Key overlapping practices emerging from these experiences are also summarized.
This report provides the proof of concept that it is possible to build back better, no matter how weak the existing mental health system or how challenging the emergency situation. I call upon all readers to take steps to ensure that those faced with future emergencies do not miss the important opportunity for mental health reform and development.
– Dr Margaret Chan, former Director-General WHO
Executive summary available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish here.
United Nations, 2019
“Conflict-related sexual violence is now widely recognized as a war crime that is preventable and punishable. The United Nations Security Council has played an important role in the past decade
by passing successive resolutions that emphasize accountability for perpetrators and services for survivors.”
– United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
action plans armed conflict gender based violence human rights impunity reparations sexual violence Afghanistan Bosnia and Herzegovina Burundi Central African Republic Colombia Côte d'Ivoire Democratic Republic of the Congo Iraq Libya Mali Myanmar Nepal Nigeria Somalia South Sudan Sri Lanka Sudan (Darfur) Syrian Arab Republic Yemen
Enforced disappearances have been a well known to Sri Lanka before, during and the `post´ conflict scenario. However, from time to time we have had large scale disappearances becoming widely used since the 1980s onwards, connected to the politico-military situation and in local areas of the country.
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.
We are a human-rights-based development organization that strives to mitigate the consequences of severe human rights violations, such as collective violence. We support and empower victims/survivors of human rights violations and seek to change the conditions that perpetuate collective violence through preventative strategies.
community reconstruction forced disappearance human rights human rights defender mental health organised violence political prisoners post-traumatic stress disorder psychosocial intervention reconciliation therapy torture trauma treatment violence women Cambodia Denmark Ecuador Honduras Libya Nicaragua Sri Lanka Zimbabwe
Srinivasa Murthy and Lakshminarayana
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.
United States Institute of Peace
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 (24 pages, .pdf, for historical reference).
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 afield 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
Frank Neuner and Thomas Elbert
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.
The mental health of children affected by armed conflict: Protective processes and pathways to resilience
Theresa Stichick Betancourt and Kashif Tanveer Khan
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.