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 .
Florence Baingana WB
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in post-conflict settings and illustrations from West Bank-Gaza, Bosnia, Burundi and Uganda (4 pages, .pdf, for historical reference).
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.
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.
Ruth Rubio-Marín ed. 2006
Rather than starting out from a preconceived list of items that a gender sensitive 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 .
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.
Brandon Hambers homepage, an academic that focuses on the psychological implications of strategies for dealing with a violent political past such as truth commissions, reconciliation as a theoretical and applicable concept, truth recovery processes and transitional justice more broadly, healing and dealing with the psychological legacy of violence, as well as comparative research on violence and crime in countries in transition.
Transitional justice is a response to systematic or widespread violations of human rights. It seeks recognition for victims and to promote possibilities for peace, reconciliation and democracy. Transitional justice is not a special form of justice but justice adapted to societies transforming themselves after a period of pervasive human rights abuse. In some cases, these transformations happen suddenly; in others, they may take place over many decades.
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.
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 (for historical reference).