2020

Mental Health and Human Rights Info (MHHRI) Newsletter December 2020
MHHRI provides information about mental health and human rights violations                                                                                                                                     View this email in your browser

Boletín en español 

NEWSLETTER NO.5  November 2020

Overview of content: 
Psychological first aid tools for working in areas with little access to mental health care
Providing psychological first aid
Further reading and resources
Download the MHHRI GBV manual
Upcoming Events

Dear friends and colleagues

Psychological support tools for working in areas with little access to mental health care

Article 12 in the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Nevertheless, in many countries people lack access to mental health care. Refugees and displaced populations are among those who often face barriers in accessing professional mental health services.

Mental health problems such as depression can be a strain for oneself and for the surrounding family and may in some cases even lead to suicide. Especially low-income countries struggle to keep up with the demand for psychological care due to lack of funding and facilities. Therefore, a lack of (and access to) professionals arises.

On a global basis, researchers believe that the loss of health due to mental illness is greater than with all other illnesses. Mental illness tops the list of causes of excess morbidity. It is therefore important to raise awareness about this issue and to advocate for better access to mental health care. Our team at MHHRI provides useful resources about mental health and human rights on our website.

A wide gap in mental health support in areas where humanitarian access is difficult, calls for innovative measures. WHO developed Self-Help Plus (SH+) to meet the challenges of delivering evidence-based mental health support to large numbers of people in conflict- or disaster-affected areas.

SH+ is a group-based self-help intervention guided by non-specialist facilitators with minimal training. It consists of a five-session pre-recorded audio course and an illustrated self-help book designed for low literacy populations.

Guided self-help is a promising intervention and has potential to improve reach and access to psychological support. So far research findings indicate that SH+ has great effect on reductions in psychological distress.

Here, we also want to mention some other initiatives aiming to make mental health care more available. One example is the manual “Where there is no psychiatrist – A Mental Health Care Manual”, which gives the reader a basic understanding of mental illness. It also provides training for general health workers to treat illnesses such as depression.

Another example is psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, who had an innovative idea on how to provide mental health care in Zimbabwe, where there is a lack of psychiatrists. He started training grandmothers in evidence-based talk therapy, which equipped them with tools to treat depression among people in their community. This approach showed great results, reducing both depression and thoughts of suicide.

In these times of COVID-19 we should remember the words of WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “The right to health means that everyone should have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without suffering financial hardship. No one should get sick and die just because they are poor, or because they cannot access the health services they need”.

During the Coronavirus outbreak, it is especially important that we are reminded of this fundamental right. Key aspects of the right to health that are particularly important during the Coronavirus outbreak included. For more information related to COVID-19 and mental health, go back to our newsletter no 1 of March 2020.


Further reading and resources:

Where There Is No Psychiatrist – A Mental Health Care Manual.
Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2018
“This practical manual of mental health care is vital for community health workers, primary care nurses, social workers and primary care doctors, particularly in low-resource settings. This guide gives the reader a basic understanding of mental illness by describing more than thirty clinical problems associated with mental illness and uses a problem-solving approach to guide the reader through their assessment and management. Mental health issues as they arise in specific contexts are described – in refugee camps, in school health programmes, as well as in mental health promotion.”

Guided self-help intervention reduces refugees’ psychological distress and improves wellbeing in humanitarian crises
WHO 2020
“First randomised trial of its kind finds multimedia guided self-help intervention can be delivered rapidly to large numbers of people in low-resource humanitarian settings by non-specialists with minimal training. […] The study is the first randomised trial of a guided self-help group intervention in a low-resource humanitarian setting. Although longer follow-up is needed to determine the long-term effects of the intervention, the authors say that guided self-help could be a promising first-line strategy to address the vast gap in mental health support in areas where humanitarian access is difficult, such as South Sudan and Syria.”
Guided self-help intervention reduces refugees’ psychological distress and improves wellbeing in humanitarian crises.

TED Talk: Why I train grandmothers to treat depression
Dixon Chibanda, 2017
“Dixon Chibanda is one of 12 psychiatrists in Zimbabwe – for a population of more than 16 million. Realizing that his country would never be able to scale traditional methods of treating those with mental health issues, Chibanda helped to develop a beautiful solution powered by a limitless resource: grandmothers. In this extraordinary, inspirational talk, learn more about the friendship bench program, which trains grandmothers in evidence-based talk therapy and brings care, and hope, to those in need.”

Effect of a Primary Care–Based Psychological Intervention on Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders in Zimbabwe. A Randomized Clinical Trial.
Dixon Chibanda, Helen A. Weiss, Ruth Verhey et. al, 2016
“Zimbabwe has a large treatment gap for common mental disorders, with only 10 psychiatrists serving a population of 13 million. Prevalence of common mental disorders above 25% has been reported among adult primary care attendees,5-8 but there are no psychological services in primary health care. A potentially feasible approach to improve this situation would require task shifting, allowing properly trained and supervised lay health workers (LHWs) in primary care to contribute to the treatment of common mental disorders. […] Problem-solving therapy is an attractive option in a low-resource context because, unlike cognitive behavior therapy, it does not require extensive training or complex skills.”

Mental Health Among Displaced People and Refugees: Making the Case for Action at The World Bank Group
World Bank Group, 2017
“Forcibly displaced people’s mental health needs have often been neglected in response plans. Yet meeting these needs is critical to help displaced persons overcome trauma and rebuild their lives. Without appropriate mental health care, forcibly displaced people will often be unable to benefit fully from other forms of support that are provided to them. […] A shared commitment is needed from national and international actors to champion mental health parity in the provision of health and social services, including in humanitarian emergencies. High priority should go to identifying alternative sources of financing for mental health parity in health systems.”

Digital technology for treating and preventing mental disorders in low-income and middle-income countries: a narrative review of the literature
Naslund, Aschbrenner, Bartels et.al, 2017
“Few individuals living with mental disorders around the globe have access to mental health care, yet most have access to a mobile phone. Digital technology holds promise for improving access to, and quality of, mental health care.

We reviewed evidence on the use of mobile, online, and other remote technologies for treatment and prevention of mental disorders in low-income and middle-income countries. Of the 49 studies identified, most were preliminary evaluations of feasibility and acceptability. The findings were promising, showing the potential effectiveness of online, text-messaging, and telephone support interventions.”

Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)
WHO launched the mental health gap action programme (mhGAP) in response to the wide gap between the resources available and the resources urgently needed to address the large burden of mental, neurological, and substance use disorders globally. Through mhGAP, WHO aims to provide health planners, policy-makers, and donors with a set of clear and coherent activities and programmes for scaling up care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

Digital Technology for Building Capacity of Non-specialist Health Workers for Task-Sharing and Scaling Up Mental Health Care Globally
Naslund, Shidhaye & Patel, 2019
“In this perspectives article, we consider the potential that digital technology holds for supporting non-specialist health workers in delivering evidence-based mental health care. Specifically, from our search of the academic literature, we identified seven promising examples from primary care settings in different low-income and middle-income countries (including India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Peru, China, and Nigeria) where digital platforms are being used to support delivery of mental health care from a variety of non-specialist providers by offering training, digital tools for diagnosis, guiding treatment, facilitating supervision, and integrating services.”

Achieving universal health coverage for mental disorders
Patel & Saxena, 2019
“A key element of the field of global mental health is the design and evaluation of innovative strategies for integrating cost effective pharmacological and psychosocial interventions in primary healthcare. The evidence from this work, from a range of contexts including high income countries, is showing the way to integration. A theme across this evidence is the placement of non-specialised providers (including peers, community health workers, and nurses) in primary healthcare and community settings.”


Download the MHHRI GBV manual

Download the manual Mental health and gender-based violence: Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict for free. The manual is also available in Arabic, Russian, SpanishNepaleseUkrainian and Portuguese. This training material has been written for those who provide assistance and support to women who survive gender-based violence and sexual trauma during disasters, wars and conflicts.  Furthermore, we hope it may be helpful as well to those who work with gender-based violence survivors in other settings. Please share the manual and spread it among your colleagues, organizations or in your community.

Facebook
On our MHHRI Facebook page, we are continuously posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as events and videos.


Upcoming Events

IRCT symposium in Georgia – postponed
2021 IRCT Scientific Symposium & General Assembly
Overcoming the Extreme: Life after Torture
2021 in Tbilisi, Georgia (more information will follow)

17th biennial conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Trauma and resilience through the ages: A life course perspective.
01- 04 June 2022
Northern Ireland.

The 11th International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) Conference
All being well, the International Society for Health and Human Rights looks forward to welcoming you to the 11th ISHHR conference and programme of capacity building in Medellin, Colombia February 2021 (tentative dates).
The ISHHR Conference and Capacity-Building Workshops will focus on themes relevant in a Colombian context, for both local and international participants, in cooperation with Región and Reconectando.

  • Strengthening Women’s Rights to Mental Health and Freedom from Violence – by changing behaviour, practices and attitudes and facilitating safe and adequate care.
  • Supporting Human Rights Defenders who risk their lives in difficult and dangerous situations, side by side with families of victims of enforced disappearance and internally displaced (IDPs).
  • Treatment methods after traumatic human rights abuse. Remembering the body, promoting resilience; arts and culture, traditional and indigenous approaches.
  • Post-conflict reconciliation, reconstruction and re-socialisation Community mental health, justice human ecology, ethnic approaches to social action, empowerment and reconciliation.
We appreciate feedback and comments The Mental Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is a newsletter with the aim to provide insight on a certain subject across the scope of our work; human rights violations in war and conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to deliver a newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective.

We would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on other issues you would like to see in this newsletter or if you are planning an event on related issues, please let us know so we can include your event in our newsletter.

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up.
We wish you all a peaceful holiday season with human rights for all in 2021
Sincerely yours,
Sara Skilbred-Fjeld and the MHHRI team
Mental Health and Human Rights Info
post@hhri.org
www.hhri.org

Boletín en español

Overview of content:

– UNSCR 1325 a catalyst for ways forward for Okinawan and Japanese comfort women
– More information and Further reading
– Download the MHHRI GBV manual
– Events

Copyright click here
About the photo

UNSCR 1325 a catalyst for ways forward for
Okinawan and Japanese comfort women 

Dear friends and colleagues

This year marks 20 years of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), on women, peace, and security. This resolution reaffirms 1) the excessive impact of violent conflict and war on women and girls and 2) that conflict prevention and peacebuilding are more sustainable when women are involved.
We still have a long way to go and it is crucial to listen to what survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) have to say. In this newsletter, we give voice to Betsy Kawamura who is a survivor of GBV herself. She is an initiator for the women4nonviolence-website that was created in response to survivor-groups who wished to ‘catch up’ on the latest news and developments regarding UNSCR 1325 and allied resolutions. As Betsy Kawamura also emphasizes: “It is important to acknowledge what we have already achieved, but we are far from done. Survivors of gender-based violence still don’t receive full recognition for their suffering.” Hence, we encourage further implementation of UNSCR 1325. It is possible that UNSCR 1325 may have been a catalyst for this issue to be raised.

An excerpt of Betsy’s letter
I am engaging with the United Nations (UN) in NYC to encourage the Republic of Korea (ROK) comfort women to join forces with remaining Okinawan and Japanese comfort women to rally international recognition and support. We realize that time is running out for remaining Okinawan/Japanese women who sexually served the Allied Forces post WWII; and that they need support and a platform as they are mostly octogenarians. In great contrast to the ROK comfort women, those of Okinawa and Japan have hardly received any recognition, not to mention even any state funded trauma care or rehabilitation.

We are hoping ultimately that the voices of Korean, Okinawan and Japanese comfort women and refugees will be supported.

Given the current international focus on peace-making initiatives in North Asia, and the emergence of UNSCR resolutions of 1325 and allied ones, I feel it is of timely and critical value for the international community and Asia Pacific states to be better informed of historic and current Women Peace and Security issues. This is to provide an intelligent basis of information from which forthcoming authentic and transparent strategies for healing of survivors and peace negotiations can be achieved, with positive global impact. Such discussions could further catalyze the inclusion of women, especially survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, in high-level, peace-negotiations through-out Asia Pacific.

These women should be taught of UNSCR 1325 and allied resolutions designed to amplify their voices.

I reviewed the ROK National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 and was hoping for stronger wording of protection of North Korean refugee women in China. I have not seen as of yet, any mention of protecting North Korean refugee women in the Japanese National Action Plan (NAP), nor of other countries who expressed ‘grave concern’ over North Korean human rights, with the exception of ROK’s NAP.

I had hoped that the 2018 Women Peace and Security meeting in Beijing would provide opportune timing for participants to discuss Secrecy issues clearly and in the open; and discuss why the USA and Japanese governments are reluctant to take actions that will enable swift, efficient redress and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence in Far East Asia and Asia Pacific. This lack of will does nothing to empower or heal victims and prevent of sexual and gender-based violence. It is the anti-thesis of the heart of UNSCR 1325 and allied resolutions to protect women.

I had also corresponded with UN desk officers for North Asia in NYC about investigating the plight of Japanese women and girl-children who were recruited by the Japanese government post WWII as ‘comfort women’ to sexually serve Allied forces shortly after Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Apparently about 55,000 Japanese women including teenaged girls were recruited by the Japanese government under the “Recreation and Amusement Association” in 1945 to sexually serve the occupying forces as a means to ‘appease’ them. The ‘comfort stations’ were financed by Japanese banks and operated under the knowledge of General Douglas MacArthur, who was the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP)  during the Allied occupation of Japan and Okinawa following World War II.

I solemnly believe that the dignity of the Japanese and Okinawan women, their families and others affected by sexual slavery are owed reverent acknowledgement, apologies and remuneration.

In all, I do have hope that open, collective discussions at international State levels could pave the way for enlightenment, healing and future improvements, with the passionate support of the international community.

You can read the whole letter here

Copyright click here

Copyright click here

More information and further reading

Formulating Japan’s UNSCR 1325 national action plan and forgetting the “comfort women”
Hisako Motoyama 2018
This paper examines the formulation process of Japan’s National Action, focusing on the gendered struggle over remilitarization and war memory, especially that of the “comfort women,” or Japanese imperial military sexual slavery during World War II.

Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
The United Nations Human Rights Council 2013
On 21 March 2013, at its 22nd session, the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Resolution A/HRC/RES/22/13 mandates the body to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with a view to ensuring full accountability, in particular for violations which may amount to crimes against humanity.

Us Too – Sexual Violence Against North Korean Women & Girls
Korea Future Initiative, James Burt 2018
In the face of extreme brutality, many North Koreans have escaped their homeland. In the first great exodus of 1998, nearly one-thousand refugees arrived in South Korea bringing news of a famine that had decimated towns and cities and a government apparatus that had violated human rights on a nationwide scale. The damage caused to survivors can last a lifetime and impact their physical, psychological, and behavioural wellbeing. In 2002, exile testimonies adopted an increasingly gendered aspect when, for the first time, more women than men reached freedom, harbouring experiences of rape, human trafficking, forced abortions, and sexual slavery.

Recreation and Amusement Association
New York Times 1995
For more information related to the situation portrayed in the first picture in the newsletter.

Upcoming Events 

 IRCT symposium in Georgia – postponed
2021 IRCT Scientific Symposium & General Assembly
Overcoming the Extreme: Life after Torture
2021 in Tbilisi, Georgia (more information will follow)

17th biennial conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Trauma and resilience through the ages: A life course perspective.
01- 04 June 2022Northern Ireland.

The 11th International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) Conference
All being well, the International Society for Health and Human Rights looks forward to welcoming you to the 11th ISHHR Conference and programme of capacity building in Medellin, Colombia Winter 2021/22
The ISHHR Conference and Capacity-Building Workshops will focus on themes relevant in a Colombian and Peruvian context, for both local and international participants, in cooperation with Región and Reconectando and CAPS Peru (Centro de Atención Psicosocial).

  • Strengthening Women’s Rights to Mental Health and Freedom from Violence – by changing behaviour, practices and attitudes and facilitating safe and adequate care.
  • Supporting Human Rights Defenders who risk their lives in difficult and dangerous situations, side by side with families of victims of enforced disappearance and internally displaced (IDPs).
  • Treatment methods after traumatic human rights abuse. Remembering the body, promoting resilience; arts and culture, traditional and indigenous approaches.
  • Post-conflict reconciliation, reconstruction and re-socialisation Community mental health, justice human ecology, ethnic approaches to social action, empowerment and reconciliation.

We appreciate feedback and comments 

The Mental Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is a newsletter with the aim to provide insight on a certain subject across the scope of our work; human rights violations in war and conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to deliver a newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective.

We would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on other issues you would like to see in this newsletter or if you are planning an event on related issues, please let us know so we can include your event in our newsletter.

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up.
Stay well – and wishing you all the best.

Sincerely yours

Betsy Kawamura and the MHHRI team
Mental Health and Human Rights Info
post@hhri.org
www.hhri.org

Mental Health and Human Rights Info (MHHRI) Newsletter October 2020    View this email in your browser
MHHRI provides information about mental health and human rights violations

Boletín en español 

Overview of content:

LGBTQ and migration: Human rights violations,mental health and COVID-19 risks

Dear friends and colleaguesRecently we have received letters from LGBTQ people being persecuted by the police or other public officers in countries where their rights have been violated. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 there has been even more severe violations during these last months.The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) claims that protecting LGBT people from violence and discrimination does not require the creation of a new set of LGBT-specific rights, nor does it require the establishment of new international human rights standards. The legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of LGBT people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed on international human rights treaties. All people, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law.Unfortunately, LGBTQ people’s rights are not always being asserted. According to the American Psychological Association (APP) several studies suggest that LGTBQ persons appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders compared to heterosexuals. Discrimination, also in the area of the health system, may help fuel these higher rates. These are serious consequences of human rights violations on LBTQ people’s (mental) health, well-being and possibility to live according to their own choices and preferences.LGBTQ people often experience a lack of protection from their family or community members. Once their sexual orientation or gender identity is exposed, family and community members may reject them and even abuse them alongside with the authorities. In other cases, LGBTQ people might remain silent about their identity to protect friends and family from being discriminated for knowing them.LGBTQ people might get excluded from work, which makes it difficult to get by financially.  In some countries, LGBTQ people are being discriminated, harassed and abused to the degree that they don’t feel safe. Some even receive death threats. Understandably, they wish to migrate to countries where they are somewhat safe and respected for who they are.

Migration and COVID-19 risks
Migration is in itself a difficult process, but LGBTQ persons often face additional perils and threats to their safety. In these times of pandemic, they encounter even more challenges. Lack of health insurance, lack of the ability to follow social distancing guidelines and quarantine guidelines lead to LGBTQ migrants facing a higher likelihood of exposure to COVID-19.

They also experience violent attacks and/or fines in countries with gender-based lockdown measures (meaning that men and women are allowed out on alternating days of the week). If transgender people are out on days which don’t match with the gender on their ID, they are in danger of discrimination and mistreatment.

Positive developments
To this day there is no country that is completely free from trans- and homophobia. But it is important to note that there has also been great progress in the field of LGBTQ people’s rights, due to the effort of human rights bodies. In the last decade, there have been several legal triumphs for LGBTQ people, including allowing intersex people to legally identify as ‘diverse’ on official documents, legalizing gay sex and marriage equality. Greater awareness about the issue keeps the fight for equality going and contributes to progress.

Several organisations work for LGBTQ people’s human rights. One of them is OutRight Action International. They provide human rights training, training on safety and security for LGBTQ people, capacity building and political space for strategizing.
Ultimately, human rights must have priority over cultural attitudes to battle violations against LBGTQ people, such as arrest, detainment, imprisonment, harassment or torture.

Below we have gathered some useful links that highlight these issues further.

Why LGBTQ+ Migrants on ‘the Caravan’ Face Unique Struggles
“Taking the 2,500-mile-long journey to the U.S. on foot is especially dangerous for trans women and other LGBTQ+ migrants — but they say it’s worth it to escape violence and discrimination in Central America.”


Seeking Asylum in the US to Escape Trans Discrimination
“When you’re transgender and latinx, life as a double minority often means living with a target on your back. For many facing extreme violence and discrimination in their home countries, migration to the United States represents a chance to redeem their identity and live a life free from persecution. But upon arriving in the US, instead, trans migrants often find a dangerous life plagued by the threat of detention and continued discrimination. Broadly goes to Arizona and Los Angeles to meet one of the most vulnerable populations in America, and the trans women already living in the US working hard to create a sanctuary for them.”


More information and further reading

Still a blind spot: The protection of LGBT persons during armed conflict and other situations of violence
International Review of the Red Cross, author Alon Margalit (PhD) 2018
“This article draws attention to the situation of LGBT persons during armed conflict. Subjected to violence and discrimination outside the context of armed conflict, the latter aggravates their vulnerability and exposure to various abuses. Despite important progress made with respect to their protection under human rights law, a similar effort is largely absent from the international humanitarian law discourse. This article accordingly highlights some of the norms and challenges pertaining to the protection of LGBT persons in time of war.”

Majority have their way but minority have their say
The Gay And Lesbian Coalition Of Kenya (GALCK) 2016
“LGBQ rights are human rights that are meant to promote a position of social and legal equality of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and queer (LGBQ) people in society. LGBQ rights address injustices against members of the LGBQ community by outlawing discrimination and violence, requiring changes in law in areas such as access to health, education, public benefits, and by recognising different types of relationships and families.”

Protection manual for LGBTI defenders
Protection International 2010
“In this manual, we give more space than other security manuals for defenders on the specific issues and obstacles that prevailing societal values and legal systems present to LGBTI defenders. We aim at addressing not only the affect of wider societal value systems on defenders protection but also to address how the internalisation of these value systems and the consequences of them can often have detrimental effects on the defenders capacity to manage their own security.”

Vulnerability Amplified: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on LGBTIQ people
OutRight Action International 2020
“The background literature review confirms that emergencies tend to exacerbate vulnerability for those already struggling against inequality in its many forms. The challenges in accessing justice, health, education, employment, housing, and other services due to discrimination and exclusion are amplified during times of crisis. In countries that criminalize same-sex relations or transgender lives, the risk of detainment and imprisonment may be a continuous threat.”

Criminalising Homosexuality and LGBT Rights in Times of Conflict, Violence and Natural Disasters
Human Dignity Trust 2015
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are a vulnerable group at the best of times. During times of turmoil (conflict, natural disasters or widespread violence) this vulnerability is exacerbated, often leaving LGBT people to experience a level of violence and exclusion beyond that borne by others.”

LGBT+ rights
MHHRI 2020
“Despite some important step forward, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBT+) people still experience discrimination, harassment and hostility in many parts of the world. Many LGBT+ experience poorer mental health outcomes that are directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse on the basis of being LGBT+.”

‘Separation by sex’: gendered lockdown fuelling hate crime on streets of Bogotá
The Guardian 2020
A policy of making men and women leave their homes on alternate days during lockdown in Bogotá is fuelling violence towards the transgender community by the police and the public, activists say. […] the Colombian organisation Red Comunitaria Trans recorded 20 violent incidents against trans people in supermarkets during lockdown, including a trans woman who was beaten by a man who said she was not allowed out on the women’s day.

Rethinking COVID-19 Vulnerability: A Call for LGBTQ+ Im/migrant Health Equity in the United States During and After a Pandemic
Health EquityVol. 4, No. 1, author Nolan S. Kline 2020
“Public health responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have emphasized older adults’ vulnerability, but this obfuscates the social and political root causes of health inequity. To advance health equity during a novel communicable disease outbreak, public health practitioners must continue to be attentive to social and political circumstances that inform poor health. Such efforts are especially needed for populations who are exposed to numerous social and political factors that structure health inequity, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise-queer identifying (LGBTQ+) populations and im/migrant populations. The COVID-19 outbreak is, therefore, a critical time to emphasize root causes of health inequity.”

IOM Experts’ Voice on Inclusive COVID-19 Response for Migrants in Vulnerable Situations
International Organization for Migration 2020
“While measures to combat the virus apply to all, not all migrant groups have the same set of resources and capacities to comply with the rules. In the following pages, contributions from key IOM experts are featured to shed light on crosscutting issues and vulnerabilities that various migrant groups face, as well as complementary resources for developing a more differentiated, appropriate and migrant-friendly response to the pandemic.”

Download the MHHRI GBV manual

Download the manual Mental health and gender-based violence: Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict for free. The manual is also available in Arabic, Russian, SpanishNepaleseUkrainian and Portuguese. This training material has been written for those who provide assistance and support to women who survive gender-based violence and sexual trauma during disasters, wars and conflicts.  Furthermore, we hope it may be helpful as well to those who work with gender-based violence survivors in other settings. Please share the manual and spread it among your colleagues, organizations or in your community.

Facebook
On our MHHRI Facebook page, we are continuously posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as events and videos.


Download the MHHRI GBV manual

Download the manual Mental health and gender-based violence: Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict for free. The manual is also available in Arabic, Russian, SpanishNepaleseUkrainian and Portuguese. This training material has been written for those who provide assistance and support to women who survive gender-based violence and sexual trauma during disasters, wars and conflicts.  Furthermore, we hope it may be helpful as well to those who work with gender-based violence survivors in other settings. Please share the manual and spread it among your colleagues, organizations or in your community.

Facebook
On our MHHRI Facebook page, we are continuously posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as events and videos.

Upcoming events

IRCT symposium in Georgia October 2020
2021 IRCT Scientific Symposium & General Assembly
Overcoming the Extreme: Life after Torture
2021 in Tbilisi, Georgia (more information will follow)

17th biennial conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Trauma and resilience through the ages: A life course perspective.
01- 04 June 2022
Northern Ireland.

The 11th International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) Conference
All being well, the International Society for Health and Human Rights looks forward to welcoming you to the 11th ISHHR conference and programme of capacity building in Medellin, Colombia Winter 2021-22 (tentative dates).
The ISHHR Conference and Capacity-Building Workshops will focus on themes relevant in a Colombian context, for both local and international participants, in cooperation with Región and Reconectando.

  • Strengthening Women’s Rights to Mental Health and Freedom from Violence – by changing behaviour, practices and attitudes and facilitating safe and adequate care.
  • Supporting Human Rights Defenders who risk their lives in difficult and dangerous situations, side by side with families of victims of enforced disappearance and internally displaced (IDPs).
  • Treatment methods after traumatic human rights abuse. Remembering the body, promoting resilience; arts and culture, traditional and indigenous approaches.
  • Post-conflict reconciliation, reconstruction and re-socialisation Community mental health, justice human ecology, ethnic approaches to social action, empowerment and reconciliation.

We appreciate feedback and comments 

The Mental Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is a newsletter with the aim to provide insight on a certain subject across the scope of our work; human rights violations in war and conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to deliver a newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective.

We would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on other issues you would like to see in this newsletter or if you are planning an event on related issues, please let us know so we can include your event in our newsletter.

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up.
Stay well – and wishing you all the best.
Sincerely yours

Sara Skilbred-Fjeld and the MHHRI team
Mental Health and Human Rights Info
post@hhri.org
www.hhri.org
To the top

Boletín en español

NEWSLETTER NO. 2  / May 2020
Refugee and Migrant Children:
Children’s Rights, Mental Health, Resilience and Protection  

Overview of content:

  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
  • As COVID-19 pandemic continues, forcibly displaced children need more support than ever
  • The Resilience Guide: Strategies for Responding to Trauma in Refugee Children
  • MANUAL for promoting mental health of affected children: With accent on refugees’/migrants’ children
  • Improving children’s well being: An evaluation of NRC’s Better Learning Programme in Palestine
  • Health of refugee and migrant children: Technical guidance
  • Action for refugee children: Good practices that bring the Global Refugee Compact to life
  • UNICEF calls for six actions to protect all refugee and migrant children
  • Brain Builders: How a child’s brain develops through early experiences (YouTube video)
  • Storytellers brighten lives of refugee children on corona virus lockdown
  • Download the HHRI GBV manual
  • Upcoming Events

Dear friends and colleagues,

Around the world, millions of children and families have had to flee their homes from conflict, persecution, disaster and extreme poverty. According to UNHCR, over half of the world’s refugees are children, or minors below the age of 18, and UNICEF states that 31 million children worldwide were displaced by the end of 2018. Moreover, refugee children are 5 times more likely not to have access to school than other children, and many lack access to essential health care. Children in refugee camps often live in dire conditions, lacking basic needs such as hygiene, sanitation, safety, food and clean drinking water. Many may have witnessed, or experienced, severe violence and they may be at risk of neglect, abuse, exploitation, trafficking or military recruitment. Some children do not have adults they can trust alongside themselves and they flee and seek protection elsewhere as unaccompanied minors.

Many children and their families live with a range of different reactions that may be consequences of traumatic experiences. Such reactions or symptoms can be nightmares, feeling anxious or depressed, feeling agitated and restless, physical pain, an inability to focus and concentrate, or losing hope for the future, among others. The lack of stability and routine in daily life that many refugee and migrant children face make it even more difficult to cope and recover from trauma. Often there is no psycho social support available to them due to the situation that these children and their families find themselves in.

Despite all these challenges, children are resilient. Not all children exposed to potentially traumatic events will develop serious mental health conditions. Knowing about protective factors that can help children recover and cope is important. Being able to mobilize such factors represents a hopeful approach, that may open for practical and adequate support.

We can divide protective factors into two groups: 1) those related to characteristics of the child and 2) those related to characteristics of the environment. Children can draw strength from protective factors within themselves as well as from their families and the community within which they live. Important protective factors that caregivers and helpers can influence include:

  • Help the child to feel like a worthy person
  • Allow the child to express itself creatively and through play
  • Allow the child to learn new things and explore his or her skills, thereby providing the child with a sense of mastery
  • Provide the child with an experience of having an influence in their own lives
  • Provide the child with a feeling of meaning and a sense of coherence in his or her daily life
  • Make sure that there are some routines, structure and boundaries in the daily life of the child
  • Make sure that there is at least one adult person that the child can trust and feel that she or he really cares about the child
  • Respect the child and his or her physical and psychological integrity

Children need stability, security and the possibility to learn, play and explore their skills for their cognitive, emotional and social development. Children need to be loved and cared for.

In Health and Human Rights Info (HHRI) we are currently working on responding to the need for more specific information on children exposed to sexual violence in contexts of instability and how we can provide psychosocial support to these children and their caregivers. The new project has been developed together with experts in the field of child psychology, trauma and humanitarian work. Clinical psychologist and expert in the field of resilience in children, Helen Christie, was initiative-taker to the project and is leading it together with HHRI’s Executive Director, Elisabeth Ng Langdal. Further update on this project will be provided.

Below we have gathered publications and information in English about refugee children focusing on the following:

  • The rights of the child as these are laid out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • The urgent need to protect refugee children during the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The importance of a strong awareness on refugee children’s mental health and well-being including interventions and strategies to provide psychosocial support and promoting resilience.

We have also included information from UNHCR and UNICEF on their work with refugee children, as well as a positive story from Madrid, Spain, where volunteers record bedtime stories that are sent to Spanish speaking refugee children, by UNHCR.

Further reading

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
United Nations 1989
First, we believe it is highly valuable to remind ourselves of articles 9, 22, 24, 28 and 39 in the Convention on the Rights of the Child which state the following:
Article 9 The right not to be separated from the parents
Article 22 The right to seek asylum and to receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance as a refugee
Article 24 The right of access to health care
Article 28 The right to education
Article 39 The right to physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of any form of neglect, exploitation or abuse: torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflict, which should take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.

Image from Pixabay

As COVID-19 pandemic continues, forcibly displaced children need more support than ever
UNHCR 20 April 2020
Joint statement by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, and Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
“Millions of children around the world have been driven from their homes and across borders by conflict, violence and other forms of harm – including 12.7 million refugees and 1.1 million asylum seekers. With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of refugee children have become even more acute. Meeting those needs is key to safeguarding both their wellbeing today and future potential. Displaced children are among those with the most limited access to prevention services, testing, treatment and other essential support. In addition, the pandemic and containment measures are likely to have negative consequences for their safety and education, which were precarious even before the outbreak of the disease.”

The Resilience Guide: Strategies for Responding to Trauma in Refugee Children
Supporting Child Care in the Settlement Community, CMAS
2018, author Heather Savazzi
“This practical guide is developed for practitioners and professionals working directly with families and children who have experienced forced migration. The guide focuses on the Canadian context, but much of the theory, principles and methods can be applied in work with children with a refugee experience in other countries and contexts. The guide includes information about refugee trauma, potential developmental effects, and key strategies that foster the resilience of children and families. The guide also includes tip sheets filled with practical strategies that are designed to be taken straight off the page and put into practice.”

MANUAL for promoting mental health of affected children: With accent on refugees’/migrants’ children
UNICEF 2017, author Chamber of Psychologists by Marijana Markovikj and Eleonora Serafimovska
“This manual is aimed at promoting the mental health of children under risk and providing psychosocial care in facilities accommodating persons under risk. It was developed from the project entitled: “Capacity building for providing psychological interventions and resilience of professional staff in Transit Centres to refugees and migrant children.” The project was funded and supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (“UNICEF”) and implemented by the Chamber of Psychologists of the Republic of Macedonia. The main objective of the project was: “to equip front line workers, including psychologists and social workers working in Transit Centres, with tools and skills how to provide targeted psychological interventions through group and/or individual work”. This manual is intended to serve as a guide for psychologists and/or psychotherapists engaged as helpers who (will) work with affected people1 in relief assistance facilities. The manual can also be useful for social workers, teachers and health workers.”

Improving children’s wellbeing: An evaluation of NRC’s Better Learning Programme in Palestine 
Norwegian Refugee Council, NRC 
January 2017
“The Better Learning Programme (BLP) aims to improve learning conditions for children and adolescents exposed to war and conflict in Palestine. The Better Learning Programme consists of two components: BLP 1 reaches out to all pupils and provides psycho-education and coping skills, while BLP 2 is a specialised intervention for those with chronic symptoms of traumatic stress. Both components combine a psychosocial and trauma-focused approach. The psychosocial support offered in both components aims: (1) to establish a sense of stability and safety; (2) to promote calming and a capacity for self-regulation; (3) to increase community and self-efficacy, including where to find support and how to give and receive support; and (4) to promote mastery and hope.”
In addition to the evaluation report, an interview with Professor Jon-Håkon Schultz who led the development of NRC’s work for children with trauma can be read here.

“They’re often in the same class or year. When they’re also in the same group,
it’s easier to ask ‘How are you doin
g?Have you had a nightmare?
Do you do the exercises?’”

(Professor Jon-Håkon Schultz)
Image from Pixabay
Health of refugee and migrant children: Technical guidance  
WHO Regional Office for Europe 
2018
“The objective of this technical guidance is to inform national and local health policy regarding health care for newly arrived refugee and migrant children. This grouping encompasses children aged 0–18 years who are asylum seekers, in an irregular situation or in the first two years after obtaining residency in the country of reception. The guidance, therefore, focuses on the initial health care response to the needs of these children.
The guidance includes information on mental health and psychological well-being and describes different areas for intervention and as well as policy considerations focusing on health promotion strategies and public health strategies.”
Action for refugee children: Good practices that bring the Global Refugee Compact to life
UNICEF December 2019
“Every refugee crisis is a children’s crisis. More than half of the 25.9 million refugees worldwide are under the age of 18. Refugee boys and girls are uniquely vulnerable: because they are children, because they are uprooted, because they have experienced or witnessed violence. These vulnerabilities put them at risk of more violence, abuse, exploitation and discrimination. However, refugee children should not only be defined by their vulnerabilities. They are strong and resilient. They are determined to thrive, and their potential is limitless. They are not alone. In the Global Compact on Refugees, governments and stakeholders around the world have committed to make sure no refugee girl or boy is left behind.
The brochure includes information on education and learning, the importance of early childhood development, and protection of refugee children from violence, exploitation and abuse, among others.”
UNICEF calls for six actions to protect all refugee and migrant children
UNICEF 
As part of the UNICEF ‘s Agenda for Action and the Children uprooted campaign, UNICEF calls for six actions to protect all refugee and migrant children. These six action points are:
1. Press for action on the causes that uproot children from their homes
2. Help uprooted children to stay in school and stay healthy
3. Keep families together and give children legal status
4. End the detention of refugee and migrant children by creating practical alternatives
5. Combat xenophobia and discrimination
6. Protect uprooted children from exploitation and violence
NSPCC
 “This ‘Brain Builders’ video explains how experiences in the first years of our lives affect how our brains form. Science tells us that the stress of abuse or neglect can damage the basic structures of a child’s developing brain. Without the right help, it can put them at risk of a lifetime of health problems, developmental issues and addiction. It’s up to us to make sure that children overcome these stresses and have the nurturing experiences they need for positive development.”
Storytellers brighten lives of refugee children on corona virus lock down
UNHCR 23 April 2020
“Volunteers in Spain are recording bedtime stories to share with children in reception centres via WhatsApp in a UNHCR-backed project. Life in lockdown for COVID-19 is tough, but for Rosalina, an asylum-seeker from Venezuela, it is particularly hard. She and her three children – 8, 12 and 14 years old – share a single room at a reception centre in Madrid. She finds it difficult to keep them occupied and entertained.”
“These stories are like invisible friends for my children” (Rosalina)

Image by Mystic Art design from Pixabay

Download the HHRI GBV manual

Download the manual Mental health and gender-based violence: Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict from our website for free. The manual is available in EnglishArabic, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. This training material has been written for those who provide assistance and support to women who survive gender-based violence and sexual trauma during disasters, wars and conflicts.  Furthermore, we hope it may be helpful as well to those who work with gender-based violence survivors in other settings. Please share the manual and spread it among your colleagues, organizations or in your community.

Facebook and Twitter
On our HHRI Facebook page and Twitter account, we are continuously posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as events and videos.

Upcoming Events

Due to the COVID-19 situation, many of these events will be postponed. Check out each specific event for further information.

Dubrovnik summer school
In the shadow of PTSD:
The heterogeneity of responses to psychological trauma in individuals, families and communities across cultures
25th- 28th May 2020
in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Summer school Ghent
Health & Migration’ and ‘Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights’
For medical students
5th until the 16th of July 2020
Ghent, Belgium

IRCT symposium in Georgia 2021
2021 IRCT Scientific Symposium & General Assembly
Overcoming the Extreme: Life after Torture
5-7 October 2020 in Tbilisi, Georgia

17th biennial conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Trauma and resilience through the ages: A life course perspective.
16-19 June 2021
Northern Ireland.

The 11th International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) Conference
The ISHHR Conference will take place in Medellín, Colombia, late 2021. More information will follow.
The ISHHR Conference and Capacity-Building Workshops will focus on themes relevant in a Colombian context, for both local and international participants, in cooperation with Región and Reconectando.
The Call for Papers, to be published in autumn 2020, is based on four principle thematic streams for  papers, parallel sessions and workshops:

  • Strengthening Women’s Rights to Mental Health and Freedom from Violence – by changing behaviour, practices and attitudes and facilitating safe and adequate care.
  • Supporting Human Rights Defenders who risk their lives in difficult and dangerous situations, side by side with families of victims of enforced disappearance and internally displaced (IDPs).
  • Treatment methods after traumatic human rights abuse. Remembering the body, promoting resilience; arts and culture, traditional and indigenous approaches.
  • Post-conflict reconciliation, reconstruction and re-socialisation Community mental health, justice human ecology, ethnic approaches to social action, empowerment and reconciliation.

To receive updates, become an ISHHR member or contact coordinator@ishhr.com for more information.

We appreciate feedback and comments 
The Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is a newsletter with the aim to provide insight on a certain subject across the scope of our work; human rights violations in disaster, war and conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to deliver a newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective. We would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on other issues you would like to see in this newsletter or if you are planning an event on related issues, please let us know so we can include your event in our newsletter.If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up.
Stay well – and wishing you all the best.

Sincerely yours
The HHRI team
Health and Human Rights Info
post@hhri.org
www.hhri.org

2019

View the original newsletter here.

NEWSLETTER NO.5  Desember / 2019

Overview of content:
Human rights defenders and torture
Video tutorials
New video tutorial with Nora Sveaass
Download the HHRI GBV manual
The woman butterfly animation
Upcoming Events 

Human rights defenders and torture

The woman butterfly animation

View the original newsletter here.
HHRI provides information about mental health and human rights violations             Boletín en Español

View the original newsletter here.
Boletín en Español 

See the original newsletter here.Health and Human Rights Info (HHRI) Newsletter April 2019
HHRI provides information about mental health and human rights violations         Spanish Boletín

Overview of content 
Transitional justice and mental health
Further reading on transitional justice
Download the HHRI GBV manual
Upcoming Events

Photo: Marino Cordoba Colombia’s human rights defender during his visit to Oslo.

Dear friends and colleagues
Transitional justice and mental health

“We want to know the truth. Who ordered the killings of my family and the people in my village?” Legitimate questions from Marino Cordoba, a Human rights defender and a social leader from Riosucio in Colombia. These were some of the expectations that the truth commission was met with, when set to work in Colombia in December 2018.

The question is of course – will the people of Colombia be provided with the full truth through the work of the truth commission? Few of us are in doubt as to the importance of transitional processes in situations following a conflict, when peace agreements are signed, and the reconstruction of society is needed. As part of such processes, truth commissions, investigations and legal procedures, as well as different forms of reparations, are vital. In this context, forgiveness, in addition to reconciliation, is often described as important parts of this.

But what does it take for those who have lost and suffered, to forgive, or to reconcile with persons formerly seen as enemies or even oppressors? What role does the truth commission play in this? It is evident that people have the right to know, but it is not always so clear that truth alone provides the sense of restoration that the victims and survivors are looking for and that the peace process requires when a conflict is over.

Examples from different countries that have carried out truth commissions, indicates that the process may be of value, but often not enough to restore the balance and sense of justice.  The experiences with truth commissions in South Africa, Uganda, Guatemala, Rwanda and Kenya are evidence of important steps, but more is usually needed. According to Pathak (2017) transitional justice constitutes a five-pillar approach: truth, justice, healing, prosecution and reparation, as ways of confronting and dealing with the authoritarian or violent past.  So, one can say that without all the five pillars, and probably, without the clear presence of justice and accountability, the transition of a community from conflict to peace will face difficulties.

As a means of supporting victims and as a way for them to move forward, the role of the truth commissions and their effects have been much debated. Pathak also underlines that the budget often allocated to the commissions and the amount defined for reparations to the victims, are usually very inadequate, and the lack of official policies and inadequate legislation and regulations to govern these processes, are factors that can jeopardies these important and needed processes.

Hayes in Hamber (2007) claims that “Revealing is not simply healing; the process of healing depends on how we reveal, the context of the revealing, and what it is that we are revealing”. The truth may be a collection of past events, consisting of different interpretations and recollection of what happened. It is vital that victims, the survivors and those participating in the transitional processes consider these as fair and just, and that those involved are met with respect and in a dignified manner in order for them not to be revictimized in the process. These are some of the important issues that must be taken into consideration when working with victims engaging in truth commissions.
Please have a look at the links below and at our thematic page on transitional justice for more information related to the topic.

Further reading on transitional justice

Charles Mulinda Kabwete 2018
This theoretical discussion around the concepts of truth, confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation after conflict has showed to what extent these concepts are interconnected. We saw that those who seek truth have to pass through a negotiation process or something that looks like a negotiation. Those who narrate this truth, recall past events but also interpret and even reinterpret them. This whole exercise can be seen as an attempt to contextualise the collection of truth but also to problematise it. Truth in most cases is plural, not singular.

A Comparative Study of World’s Truth Commissions: From Madness to Hope
Pathak 2017
Truth Commissions have been established, are being established and will be established based primarily on three notions: Let’s forget the victims to forgive the perpetrators; let’s not forget the victims and forgive the perpetrators; and let’s not forget the victims and not forgive the perpetrators, too. These notions apply to both restorative and retributive justices.

To Prosecute or Not to Prosecute: The Need for Justice in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka

Nadeshda Jayakody 2017
Since the mid-1970s, social psychologists and legal scholars have surveyed people around the world who have participated in judicial proceedings involving crimes committed in domestic jurisdictions to understand what it is about such processes that lead participants to consider them fair or unfair, and ultimately to accept or reject the outcome of such proceedings. Almost universally, these procedural justice studies have found that witnesses define a “fair process” as one that is based largely on three criteria described; benevolence, the degree to which they perceive that the court officials, from judges to social workers, care about them and their experiences; neutrality, the extent to which they have been able to talk about their experiences in a neutral and unbiased forum; and respect, the extent to which they have been treated in a professional and dignified manner.

El Espectador 2018
“We hope we can contribute to Colombia seeking the truth in a sincere, transparent way, which is a public good and is the responsibility of all of us in Colombia. We hope to contribute in depth with our communication and pedagogy and with the Casas de la Verdad that we are starting to open in different regions in the form of a mobile team with the communities,” he said in an interview with the Justice for Peace chapter of Colombia 2020.

ERIC BRAHM 2007
While there is growing interest in examining what long-term impact truth commissions have on society, our understanding has been hampered by a number of empirical problems. Specifically, most studies focus on a small biased subsample of cases, rely on anecdotal evidence and normative conviction, and fail to follow the truth commission’s legacy beyond its immediate reception. What is more, although a range of purposes have been put forward for truth commissions, there is little consensus on what criteria might be used to assess them.
ICTJ, Eduardo González, Elena Naughton, Félix Reátegui 2014
Sustainable peace requires more than agreements between leaders: it requires institutions that are worthy of trust, that respect human rights. In turn, these institutions require the confidence of citizens who previously only had reasons to distrust state authorities. Only then is the recurrence of violence less likely.
Robins, Simon 2017
The truth commission is claimed to be ‘victim-centred’, as a result of this process being primarily performative and focussed on victim testimony, institutionalising the truth claims of victims through public truth-telling with the social goal of reconnecting victims and society.
Brandon Hamber*, Dineo Nageng & Gabriel O’Malley 1995

From a psychological (psychoanalytic) perspective, sleeping dogs do not lie and past traumas do not simply pass or disappear with the passage of time; but testimony and telling (and hearing) the truth will not instantaneously result in healing (Hamber, 1995;1998a).  Revealing is not simply healing; the process of healing depends on how we reveal, the context of the revealing, and what it is that we are revealing (Hayes, 1998).  In the final report of the TRC, the Commission acknowledges the healing potential of storytelling, whilst noting that it initiated more than it closed when it came to individual healing (TRC, 1998).

For sale Ruthledge
This book addresses current developments in transitional justice in Latin America – effectively the first region to undergo concentrated transitional justice experiences in modern times. Using a comparative approach, it examines trajectories in truth, justice, reparations, and amnesties in countries emerging from periods of massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The book examines the cases of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, developing and applying a common analytical framework to provide a systematic, qualitative and comparative analysis of their transitional justice experiences. More specifically, the book investigates to what extent there has been a shift from impunity towards accountability for past human rights violations in Latin America.

Download the HHRI GBV manual

Download the manual Mental health and gender-based violence: Helping survivors of sexual violence in conflict for free. The manual is also available inArabic, Russian and Spanish. This training material has been written for those who provide assistance and support to women who survive gender-based violence and sexual trauma during disasters, wars and conflicts.  Furthermore, we hope it may be helpful as well to those who work with gender-based violence survivors in other settings. Please share the manual and spread it among your colleagues, organizations or in your community.

2018

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2017

2016

2015

2014