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close this bookDeclaration of Cooperation - Mental Health of Refugees, Displaced and Other Populations Affected by Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations (WHO - OMS, 2001, 12 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY OF ELABORATION OF THE DECLARATION
View the documentINTRODUCTION
View the documentPREVENTION AND RESPONSE
View the documentSURVIVORS OF EXTREME VIOLENCE
View the documentWOMEN
View the documentCHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
View the documentLOCAL INTEGRATION
View the documentREPATRIATION
View the documentETHICAL CONDUCT
View the documentBACKCOVER

REPATRIATION

Article 16. In the elaboration of post-conflict mental health policies and programmes, policy- makers must take into account the possible conflict of aims in promoting return, recovery, and reconstruction. Realistic transitional objectives must be developed to avoid overburdening physically and mentally exhausted and traumatised populations with unduly ambitious goals.

Article 17. In so far as it affects adversely the lives of refugees and other displaced persons, their situation must not be normalised. For all refugees and displaced persons, voluntary repatriation is not only a right but is essential and must be facilitated in all possible ways. Forcible repatriation must not be carried out. Whether they remain in a war-torn country or flee to exile, most of them sustain or witness atrocities, which profoundly affect them, their families and society. Because return includes a search for national reconciliation in a changed and impoverished country, there is a risk of traumatisation, so hasty individual or group repatriation must be avoided. Repatriation operations must be well coordinated between countries of asylum and origin, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, with special attention to vulnerable groups. Efforts must be comprehensive and equitable to prevent further damage.

Article 18. Repatriation programmes should include appropriate preparation of both receiving and the refugee communities to prevent discrimination, revenge and acts of violence against each other. They should also include coordination and implementation of mental health programmes for the chronically mentally ill and the traumatised. All precautions must be taken to avoid unintentional exclusion of the most deprived and of people in vulnerable groups.