The Peruvian Truth Commission's Mental Health Reparations: Empowering Survivors of Political Violence to Impact the Public Health Policy
Health and Human Rights: International Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 136-163, 2006
28 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 28, 2008
The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), formed in 2001, turned national attention toward the serious mental health consequences of the country's 20-year internal armed conflict. The TRC prioritized reparations in mental health, using a legal justification that provided victims-survivors of the war with a rights-based framework for demanding that the public sector attend to their mental health needs. Since the majority of victims-survivors come from historically poor, rural, and marginalized populations and have tended to not exercise their right to health for a variety of social, economic, and cultural reasons, framing mental health in terms of rights helps to empower these people to impact the development of appropriate policies in mental health. The authors suggest that this process contributes directly to improving the mental health of this population.
Keywords: reparations, mental health, human rights, truth commission, transitional justice, conflict
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