Useful Resources on Right to Health

 DSCF0276 -15-6-09Resources on Right to Health:


1. Legal Instruments


2. UN Key Publications


3. Reports, policy papers, research papers, toolkits


4. Useful links



1. Legal instruments


2. Un Key Publications

This manual is written primarily for relief workers, community workers, primary health care workers, primary school teachers and others who provide support to refugees and other displaced persons who have fled war or disaster.It is intended to help those who work with refugees to: recognize people with high levels of stress and teach them how to cope with their stress; understand what “functional complaints” are and recognize and help people with such complaints; help refugee women who have been raped;understand the mental health and development needs of refugee children; understand traditional medicine and work with traditional healers; recognize common mental disorders;deal with alcohol and other drug problems; help victims of torture and other violence.

 This document provides an approach and a toolkit to help those designing and conducting an assessment  of mental health and psychosocial needs and resources in major humanitarian crises. These could include major natural and human-made disasters and complex emergencies (for example armed conflicts).

This tool on the Rapid Assessment of Mental Health Needs of Refugees, Displaced and Other Populations Affected by Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations and Available Resources (RAMH) is intended to be used by mental health professionals, non-mental health personnel, and others involved in mental and psychosocial community support.


3. Reports,  policy papers, research papers, toolkits

Full report of the APRRN Southeast Asia Refugee Mental Health Training. The Training Course considered the psychological consequences of war and human rights violations on refugees. Traumatic experiences place this vulnerable group at elevated risk of developing mental health problems. 

Torture can be proved through the use of documentation. However, often the required forensic expertise is not available to produce medico-legal reports of sufficient quality or the reports are not taken into account in legal proceedings due to flawed regulations or practice. For this reason, the IRCT works to promote the value and use of medical documentation of torture according to the international standards contained in the Istanbul Protocol.

In the past twenty years many trauma centres have emerged all over the world. Unfortunately, in some of these centres structural issues are often missing. This manual addresses the basic ingredients of a healthy organisation that supports survivors of torture and political violence: qualification and selection of caregivers, qualifications of leaders, treatment philosophy and team cooperation,organisational issues, the role of a board, care for care givers and supervision. Also, a more in-depth scientifically based analysis of the ways in which organisational, therapeutic and personal issues can be sources of work related stress is presented.

A Guide for medical doctors, psychologists, lawyers on the effective investigation, psychological evaluation and documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumanor Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The aim of this project was to explore the perspectives of experienced practitioners – working in
mental health services or in contact with mental health services- about “what works” and “what does not work” in successfully engaging young people from refugee backgrounds with mental health services. Effective utilisation of services included first contact access as well as access to appropriate follow-up care, if needed. The resulting report on the findings identified what are considered to be effective and ineffective approaches to engage this population with such services.

This article presents the main findings in relation to mental-health services utilisation by children and young people of refugee background and aims to identify factors that may constitute impediments to service use as well as factors that may facilitate access to and engagementwith services.

The significant impact of violence, trauma and torture on people from refugee background requires an informed andskilled health workforce. This guide is an Australian focused important resource aimed at enhancing the skillsof front house staff and health care professionals caring for refugees and asylim seekers.

Survivors of Torture regurarly report not being provided with a qualified interpreter when accessing health care in Victoria, Australia.The purpose of the paper is to summarise available evidence regarding the use and failure to use qualified interpreters in various health settings and describe the main barriers and facilitators to the use of qualified interpreters in health settings.

The article reports the findings of a Foundation House research project examining the experience, and identifying the consequences of, extended periods of immigration detention from the perspective of previously detained asylum seekers

The focus of this article is to understand the mental health needs of one subgroup of Asians-Southeast Asian refugees (SEAR). The main purpose is to review the relevant literature pertaining to Southeast Asian refugees’ experiences and to understand the manifestation of psychiatric disorders by examining historical, cultural, and contextual challenges

Based on the provision of mental health services to refugees and asylum seekers over the past four years, Health Equity Initiatives (HEI) recognized the limitations of treatment using only pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy with its refugee clients as the underlying social context of their lives seemed to perpetuate their symptoms and ill health. As such, the organization decided to undertake this research on the association between forced labor and human trafficking and mental health morbidity in order to systematically investigate these issues.

Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

These guidelines help to plan, establish and coordinate a set of minimum multi-sectoral responses to protect and improve people’s Mental Health and psychosocial well-being in the midst of an emergency.

This guide is intended to strengthen the capacities of the individuals and organizations providing assistance in emergencies so that the burden of injury, illness and death which accompany disasters can be greatly reduced.

This guide is designed specifically for medical or mental health professionals seeking to develop knowledge and skills needed to conduct clinical evaluations of asylum seekers and assess physical or psychological evidence of torture and ill-treatment. Several sections of this guidebook are based on recent international guidelines for medical/legal documentation of torture

4. Useful links

International Rehabilitation Council of Torture Victim

Foundation House- The Victorian foundationfor Survivors of Torture Victims

Harvard Programe in Refugee Trauma

Peter C. Alderman Foundation

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network

Society for Emotional Well-Being Worldwide

Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (PS Centre)



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