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Healing and Human Rights: A Blog by the Center for Victims of Torture

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Study reveals the staggering economic costs of violence against children around the world.
It is truly unfortunate that some of the areas where Ebola has been most rampant are the areas that were most affected by war and violence. Fortunately, many Sierra Leoneans and Liberians, including CAPS and LAPS, are responding to the crisis with commitment, compassion and energy.

Paul Orieny, Ph.D., LMFT is a clinical advisor with CVT.

 

Earlier in the summer, I visited our Nairobi project to check in on our clinical work.  One day, I joined a men’s counseling group for their second session. It’s a group of gentlemen – from teenagers to 70-year-olds and all ranges of profession. These men are Rwandese, Burundi and Congolese, and it’s amazing how they have come together.

For nearly three years, the Center for Victims of Torture has provided mental health care to refugees in the world’s largest refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. We hire and train men and women who are part of the refugee community in Dadaab, a complex of camps near the Somali-Kenya border. As mental health paraprofessionals, or psychosocial counselors (PSCs), they were recruited through a very competitive interviewing process.
This month, psychotherapists from 24 torture survivor rehabilitation organizations in the United States gathered in St. Louis for a two-and-a-half day advanced clinical training on complex trauma in torture survivors. Each year, CVT’s National Capacity Building Project holds an institute for professionals to come together to focus in-depth with their colleagues across the country on a particular aspect of torture survivor rehabilitation.

Judith Twala, MA, is a psychotherapist/trainer with the Center for Victims of Torture in Dadaab, Kenya. Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp in the northeast region of Kenya, close to the Somali border. Most refugees in this complex of camps are from Somalia with others from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries.

Each year, thousands of Eritreans flee to refugee camps in northern Ethiopia to escape forced military inscription, persecution, and torture. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently announced that Ethiopia is now the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. According to UNHCR, Ethiopia is host to 629,718 refugees. The largest refugee population is South Sudanese (247,000), followed by Somalis (245,000), and Eritreans (99,000). UNHCR says that, over the past seven months, almost 15,000 Eritreans arrived in Ethiopia.As the Eritrean government targets the families of young men who flee the country to avoid forced conscription, more women and children have also fled Eritrea seeking refuge in Ethiopia.

Curt Goering is the Executive Director of CVT. In 2009 and 2010, he served as Head of the Gaza office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. While previously working at Amnesty International, he also investigated the impact of rockets fired from Gaza on communities in southern Israel. Here, Curt reflects on his experience in light of the recent ongoing violence and the heavy psychological toll the conflict is inflicting on children from both sides.

In early July, the UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict released the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. The report, which covers January to December 2013, found that children were recruited and used, killed and maimed, victims of sexual violence and other grave violations in 23 conflict situations around the world last year.

Not long after reading the UN’s Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, we came across this interesting article recently published in the StarTribune about a newly created position of “Trauma Informed Advocate” at the St. Cloud (MN) Police Department. St. Cloud is a community located approximately one hour from Minneapolis and St.

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We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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