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November 2011
News from the WPA Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution - Report on the Section’s meeting held during the World Congress of Psychiatry 2011

As with any preparation of an international meeting of the WPA our Section’s executive spared no time or energy in collaborating with the Scientific Program Committee and supporting our members and colleagues in Buenos Aires. The fruits were the presentation within the Spanish part of the program of two symposia on the themes of traumatic consequences of human rights abuses and the Section’s business meeting

Dr. Dario Lagos, from Buenos Aires, chaired the symposia and Drs. Lucile Edelman and Diana Kordon, also from Buenos Aires, presented papers. The background and source of the data for their studies were the human rights abuses during the violent years of 1976 to 1983 in Argentina and the psychosocial services provided by EATIP, an Argentinian treatment team for victims of psychological trauma.  Dr. Edelman spoke of post-traumatic consequences of sexual torture. Dr. Kordon reported on her experience in group psychotherapy with women affected by human rights violations.  Dr. David Brune, from Hamburg, Germany, read a paper co-authored with Dr. Barbara Preitler, from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, on mental health care services for traumatized asylum seekers in Germany, Austria and Sweden in the context of the current immigration and asylum legislation. Dr. Brune also spoke of the training program for counsellors of victims of the tsunami wave disaster of 2004 in Sri Lanka. Dr. Lilla Hardi reported on her training program with the Istanbul Protocol in Hungary from 2007 to date.

In the business meeting Dr. Joost den Otter, Executive Director of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) in Copenhagen was elected as a new member of the Section and Drs. Diana Kordon and Lucila Feldman were also nominated for membership. This fitted well into the ongoing efforts made by the executive in the past year to develop the Section’s membership. Finally, plans were discussed to prepare for the WPA’s next meeting in October 17-21, 2012, in Prague to which the Section has been specially invited by the WPA President Prof. Pedro Ruiz, and Prof Jîrí Raboch, host and President of the Czech Psychiatric Association. The conference’s overall theme will be the Human Rights Education in Complex Environments as a mental health prevention program component. The participants committed themselves to communicate with each other and cooperate on this endeavor.
 
Lilla Hardi, Chair
Federico Allodi, Secretary, WPA Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution
Adriano C. T. Rodrigues, Secretary, WPA Section of Philosophy and Humanities in Psychiatry  

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