Regular Article/Highlights of the ISTSS 2008 Annual Meeting
Human rights and the trauma model: Genuine partners or uneasy allies?
Article first published online: 9 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Special Issue: Highlights of the ISTSS 2008 Annual Meeting
Volume 22, Issue 5, pages 358–365, October 2009
How to Cite
Steel, Z., Bateman Steel, C. R. and Silove, D. (2009), Human rights and the trauma model: Genuine partners or uneasy allies?. J. Traum. Stress, 22: 358–365. doi: 10.1002/jts.20449
- Issue published online: 19 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 9 SEP 2009
Since World War II, a comprehensive body of international law has developed to protect and promote human rights. Three generations of rights can be delineated: civil and political; economic, social and cultural; and collective rights. The convergence of a medical rights-based campaign in the late 1970s with the emergence of the new trauma model resulted in mental health professionals playing a prominent role in documenting and protecting civil and political rights. Economic, social, and cultural rights also emerged as being pivotal, particularly in the Australian context as mental health professionals began to work with excluded populations such as asylum seekers. Consideration of third-generation rights raises important questions about the responsibilities facing mental health professionals applying the trauma model to non-Western settings.