Reconciliation and peacebuilding rest upon knowing as complete a picture as possible of the nature, causes, and extent of gross violations of human rights that have been committed. Investing in the education of youth is important because it expands their worldview and challenge stereotypes. By successfully doing so, youth can actively participate in shaping lasting peace and contribute to justice and reconciliation in their respective societies. For example, Canada has integrated meaningful reconciliation into classrooms and workshops to help learn about its history of colonization and think creatively about the future. South Africa has also recognized the importance of educational reform in order to address the problem of reconciliation and conflict transformation in youth. The importance of empowering youth to engage and take an active role in non-violence, dialogue, and reconciliation was at the center of this conversation of the potential roles that youth can take in truth and reconciliation at both the local and global level.
Healing from Abuse
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Hay una realidad inocultable, la defensa de los derechos humanos en el mundo afecta la salud física, emocional, psicológica, mental, espiritual y las relaciones familiares, amorosas, sexuales, de amistad y de trabajo de quienes se dedican a este quehacer, pues nuestro sistema nervioso no está diseñado para resistir las amenazas, la presión, la inseguridad, el acoso, las violaciones, el sufrimiento, las injusticias y, en sí, la brutalidad humana, sin dejar consecuencias en nuestra salud integral.
In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that nearly 21 million people were victims of human trafficking, including approximately 5.5 million children, trafficked primarily into forced labor and sexual exploitation. The need for victim related services is great and, sadly, growing. Victim services range from legal assistance to safe havens; employment training to mental health rehabilitation.
In this conversation summary, resources, approaches and examples were shared to assist practitioners fighting against human trafficking. Conversation leaders discussed communication and institutional barriers to providing services to trafficked persons.
Daily headlines around the globe portray the numerous conflicts that arise as a result of heated points of contention. Seemingly disparate ideologies, unequal distribution of resources, political, ethnic, cultural and religious differences can all be contributing factors in the emergence of conflict between groups. In the aftermath of conflict, what role can reconciliation play as a path forward; toward healing, peaceful relations, improved communication and functioning societies?
Where does the process of reconciliation begin, with whom and when? These questions and more were discussed in New Tactics in Human Rights Conversation - Reconciliation Post-Conflict: Approaches, Practices and Realities. This online conversation sought to identify the role of reconciliation in post-conflict environments. Practitioners shared experiences, lessons learned, approaches, and challenges with the reconciliation process from the perspective of reconciliation efforts around the world.
Forensic science has been a powerful tool in the scientific documentation of human rights violations around the world, and especially in Latin America. The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team has been in the forefront of efforts to train human rights NGOs to use forensic tools to advance their investigations, to provide more support for victims and to strengthen the credibility of their work against impunity.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Peru is one of the most recent examples of the processes of transitional justice, institutionalized with the aim of exploring the truth hidden behind a past characterized by massive abuse of human rights. One of the central activities in this process is the Public Audiences, created with the aim of legitimizing and dignifying the personal experiences of the victims in order to support the therapeutic and recuperative work on their behalf.
Year of Publication: 2004
Author(s): Sofia Macher
The ICAR Foundation mobilized public resources for a socially marginalized group – victims of torture. The Foundation recognized that many citizens had suffered torture during the communist regime, and created an organization to provide treatment and care to the thousands of torture survivors.
The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) has instituted an intensive training and supervision model for refugees to develop local capacity for providing understanding and skills for mental health support to rebuild communities after massive human rights atrocities. CVT has instituted the training model in refugee camps in Guinea and Sierra Leone for refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia. The model combines intensive, hands-on training of refugees with ongoing supervision.
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) developed the concept of “briefers” to install a victim-friendly process. Victims were provided with the opportunity to testify and be supported before, during and after the process. The TRC selected briefers—chosen from the caring professions, such as ministers, social workers and nurses—from the community to provide this support. The briefers acted as volunteers and were trained to perform various tasks with regard to the entire structural process of the TRC.
Rebuilding Hope saw the need for an integrated healing process that would allow families and communities to accept child soldiers from Mozambique back into their lives. Acknowledging that traditional healers are often the first people community members approach when they need help, Rebuilding Hope psychologists approached the healers as well as other community leaders to be project partners.