More support for traumatized victims of conflict needed
Dramatic situation in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and in Burma (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demands more support for traumatized people in conflict regions. “In order to solve civil wars and other armed conflicts in the long term, there must be better psychological support for the victims of expulsion, of murder, sexualized violence, and other serious human rights violations. The victims and perpetrators must not be left alone with their suffering, otherwise it will not be possible to solve the conflicts. They will break out again and again, and the suffering will continue,” warned Ulrich Delius, the director of the STP, in Göttingen on Tuesday. The situation of the traumatized people in the conflict regions of South Sudan and the Central African Republic is especially dramatic – but the 519,000 Rohingya refugees who fled from Burma to Bangladesh during the past five weeks are in desperate need for psychological support as well.
The World Mental Health Day was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to raise awareness about the global importance of mental health.
“Trauma work is an important investment in a better future and can help to secure peace in the longer run,” said Delius. “The people learn to have confidence in themselves and their surroundings. Without this confidence, a conflict-free coexistence between members of different ethnic and religious groups is not possible in the long term.”
The Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are still fighting for survival. They are lacking food, drinking water, and medical assistance. “However, they are also in desperate need of psychological support. Due to the dramatic escape and the severe human rights in Burma, the Rohingya are deeply traumatized – as became clear in conversations with the helpers,” reported Delius.
According to the STP, there is also enormous need for psychological help in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. There is hardly any psychological support for the victims of rape, mass murder, and ethnic cleansing – even though the people there have been suffering from the most severe human rights violations for years. “In both countries, the lack of trust and the hatred between hostile groups are causing more violence and more human rights violations,” Delius said.
Headerphoto: UNICEF | Pierre Holtz via Flickr