Turid Heiberg, Save the Children International, 2005
Global Submission by the International Save the Children Alliance UN Study on Violence against Children
The present study evaluates Save the Children’s experiences with work against child sexual abuse and exploitation around the world. We focus on the essence of our programme experiences, our insights and the ‘main jewels’ of our learning in the form of 10 essential learning points. We have investigated if and how our work has been in the best interest of children and whether it contributed to their development. How do we perceive the challenges and strategies that have been successful? The examination led to the formulation of the learning points, which may serve as a guide for establishing good practice and policies.
Thirteen country programmes within Save the Children – Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Syria, Nepal, Bangladesh, Romania and Spain – have been involved in the present examination, drawing on their own and partners’ experiences as well as the experiences of governments and civil society in general in combating child sexual abuse within a number of cultural, socio-economic, political and religious contexts. Good practice from other Save the Children members, academic and other sources has also been included. We have emphasised that the learning reflects what boys and girls of different ages themselves feel, think, reflect and experience around sexual abuse.Turid
Justice child sexual abuse education gender based violence mental health post-traumatic stress disorder protection sexual violence Bangladesh Brazil Canada Colombia Global Mozambique Nepal Nicaragua Romania Rwanda South Africa Spain Syria Uganda
Save the Children, in collaboration with researchers from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2019
The protection of children in conflict – and with it the realisation of the promises made in the declarations, conventions and statutes of the 20th century – is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. The nature of conflict – and its impact on children – is evolving.
In today’s armed conflicts, there is often no longer a clearly demarcated battlefield: children’s homes and schools are the battlefield.
Increasingly, the brunt of armed violence and warfare is being borne by children. Children suffer in conflict in different ways to adults, partly because they are physically weaker and also because they have so much at stake – their physical, mental and psychosocial development are heavily dependent on the conditions they experience as children. Conflict affects children differently depending on a number of personal characteristics – significantly gender and age, but also disability status, ethnicity, religion and whether they live in rural or urban locations. The harm that is done to children in armed conflict is not only often more severe than that done to adults, it has longer lasting implications – for children themselves and for their societies
armed conflict child soldiers children grave violations against children human rights impunity internally displaced persons mental health sexual violence Afghanistan Central African Republic Democratic Republic of Congo Global Iraq Mali Nigeria Somalia South Sudan Syria Yemen
World Health Organization (WHO), 2012
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.
The Lancet Global Health, 2020
The Lancet Global Health‘s Nina Putnis speaks to Wietse Tol about his research on reducing psychological distress in female South Sudanese refugees, and the implications of this research for refugees and displaced people worldwide. Listen to the podcast below:
World Health Organization (WHO), 2010
This report presents compelling evidence that people with mental health conditions meet major criteria for vulnerability. The report also describes how vulnerability can lead to poor mental health, and how mental health conditions are widespread yet largely unaddressed among groups identified as vulnerable. It argues that mental health should be included in sectoral and broader development strategies and plans, and that development stakeholders have important roles to play in ensuring that people with mental health conditions are recognized as a vulnerable group and are not excluded from development opportunities. The rec
PROBLEM MANAGEMENT PLUS (PM+): Individual psychological help for adults impaired by distress in communities exposed to adversity
World Health Organization, 2016
With this manual, the World Health Organization (WHO) is responding to requests from colleagues around the world who seek guidance on psychological interventions for people exposed to adversity.
The manual describes a scalable psychological intervention called Problem Management Plus (PM+) for adults impaired by distress in communities who are exposed to adversity. Aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) have been changed to make them feasible in communities that do not have many specialists. To ensure maximum use, the intervention is developed in such a way that it can help people with depression, anxiety and stress, whether or not exposure to adversity has caused these problems. It can be applied to improve aspects of mental health and psychosocial well-being no matter how severe people’s problems are.
The manual can be downloaded for free in 13 different languages here.
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
Health and Human Rights Info, 2019
What makes this training different from others? This is the first Nigerian pidgin English seminar on Sexual Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The seminar focuses on improving skills in providing psychological support for GBV, especially sexual trauma survivors.
Who can attend?
• Helpers supporting survivors of GBV and sexual trauma in times of disasters, conflicts and emergency situations, and in places where access to health professionals, psychologist or psychiatrist expertise is limited.
• Helpers training other helpers/groups of helpers who need self-study materials
Who produced the seminar materials?
• A team of mental health experts from with many years of clinical, field and research experiences developed effective tools to empower helpers of GBV survivors
This flyer gives you information about the content of the GBV manual that the training is based on.
Maybe we confuse compassion with empathy. We are perhaps compassionate but it is hard for us to be empathic? This excellent animated film helps us to differentiate them. The power of empathy is an animated film that explains the difference between empathy and compassion. We are not always able to connect with other people’s emotions when they show and communicate their emotions, especially negative ones. Showing compassion causes people to distance themselves because they feel we don’t understand. However, when empathy take place, it connects with people. They feel heard and understood in their pain. Click here to see the animation
Kerstin Söderström, Polli Hagenaars, Tony Wainwright, and Ulrich Wagner, 2019
“Human Rights are of crucial importance to everyone in the world, psychologists included”. With this statement the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA, 2013) called for psychologists and their associations to engage in protection and promotion of human rights. EFPA aims to connect psychology with Human Rights in a way that psychology becomes more useful to the Human Rights agenda and Human Rights become an indispensable dimension of psychology.