|Declaration of Cooperation - Mental Health of Refugees, Displaced and Other Populations Affected by Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations (WHO - OMS, 2001, 12 p.)|
1. Conflicts subject people to frequent and gross human rights violations. New patterns of violent situations, coupled with shortcomings in the international legal regime, and lack of respect for legal standards, exclude millions of people from humanitarian protection and assistance. The most vulnerable are under greater physical and psychological pressure. These include, but are not limited to: children; unaccompanied minors; orphans; children heads of households; the physically and mentally disabled; the chronically mentally ill; elderly persons alone; survivors of organised violence, torture, sexual violence; detainees; and prisoners of war. Their special needs should be addressed. Women are increasingly the targets of harsh persecution, while paying a very heavy price due to the family, and social dislocation and the added responsibilities which result from the situation.
2. This Declaration is intended to serve as a working instrument. It provides a framework to achieve increased consensus and cooperation in operational models, including policy strategies, and programmes. It is aimed at promoting evidence-based, holistic and community-based approaches that are effective and which can be implemented rapidly.
3. Given the magnitude and the nature of the problem, the fact that the reactions of populations affected by conflict are expected reactions to extraordinarily abnormal situations, and the shortcomings of other models, community-based psychosocial approaches are recommended. They must be sensitive to gender, to culture, and to the context. They must be empowering, mobilizing and supporting the refugees and other populations affected by conflict to continue taking responsibility for their lives and strengthen social cohesion within the communities.
4. The Declaration is consistent with the existing international instruments related to humanitarian protection and assistance, to human rights, to children, to women, and vulnerable groups.
5. The World Health Organization calls upon all governments, organizations and institutions to adopt and implement the following concrete steps, in taking up the challenge to prevent and reduce mental disorders and mental health problems, to restore hope, dignity, mental and social well-being, and normality to the lives of refugees, displaced and other populations affected by conflict.