Returning home: forced conscription, reintegration, and mental health status of former abductees of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda
Phuong N Pham, Patrick Vinck, Eric Stover
Abduction and forced conscription of civilians has affected the psychological well-being of a significant number of northern Ugandans. The sources of psychological trauma are multiple, ranging from witnessing to being forced to commit violent acts, and compounded by prolonged exposure to violence, often for months or years. Community-based mental health care services and reintegration programs are needed to facilitate the reintegration of former abductees back into their communities .
Commission Of The European Communities, 2008. A framework for community humanitarian actions covering children in crisis situations with focus on separated and no accompanied children, child soldiers and education in emergencies. This general framework will be implemented according to the specificities of each crisis situation taking into account the available resources and the presence of competent partners in the field.
The transitional justice mechanism in South Africa,that operated between 1995 and 1998 was not seen by womens 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.
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.
Association of Combatant Status and Sexual Violence With Health and Mental Health Outcomes in Postconflict Liberia
JAMA. Kirsten Johnson et al
Former combatants in Liberia were not exclusively male. Both female and male former combatants who experienced sexual violence had worse mental health outcomes than noncombatants and other former combatants who did not experience exposure to sexual violence.
Akram Omeri, Christopher Lennings, Lyn Raymond, University of Sydney
Understanding trauma and the individuals responses to it requires a complex approach. Hardiness refers to the characteristic response some people make to adversity and involves the concept of transformative response. In this context adversity is something that can be viewed as a learning experience, a challenge rather than a catastrophe. Response to adversity becomes a commitment rather than simply being reactive, and the individuals sense of control over outcomes remains positive, rather than emphasising that persons vulnerability (9 pages, .pdf, for historical reference).
Save the children
The Field Guide to Child Soldier Programs in Emergencies is intended for Save the Children staff and partners designing and implementing either a program focused fully on child soldiers, or a child soldiers-focused component of a broader program for war-affected children. This field guide is meant to be useful both for staff that have limited experience with child soldier programming and for experienced staff that wish to improve their understanding of particular aspects of child soldier programs.
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
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.