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The recovery of mental health and human rights of victims of political violence in Peru and the work of CAPS

The recovery of mental health and human rights of victims of political violence in Peru and the work of CAPS

In 2002, during the so called Peruvian transition period (2001-2003), the Center for Psychosocial Care (CAPS) an NGO committed to the recovery of mental health and human rights of victims of political violence, acknowledged the need to formalize a program complementary to the integral psychosocial care that would allow victims of the conflict, could face economic hardship in which the civil war had left them. At that time, Peru had no institutional system to support victims of the conflict. However, after the mandate of the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, civil society took in their hands this responsibility. CAPS through its program of social and humanitarian aid, intended to help victims not only focusing on counseling, psychotherapy, psychiatry and physical health problems but also offering loans that would allow them self-generating revenues through the implementation of a project that could be individual or collective.

The purpose of the program was to let the affected people have more and better tools to resume the project of life lost due to violence. Few of these projects were actually successful, but many of the victims were able to form associations devoted to work concerning the respect of their rights. In order to share this experience, we had made a retrospective study of the work done in this program. We reviewed 73 case (descriptive and individual) reports (the whole universe of beneficiaries of this program) from Social Work Area and project progress reports from Global Comprehensive Care Area. We also interviewed key people involved in this experience. We will show the pros and cons of the program conducted by CAPS and the adjustments and modifications that had to be carried out in recent years on victim’s economic support facilites.

Speakers: Erika Cuba

International Society for Health and Human Rights 2011

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