EFPA Invited Double Symposium of the TFHR, ECP Milan, 2015

1. Title 

Human Rights, Education of Psychologists in Professional and Ethical Responsibilities 


2. List of authors 


EFPA Task Force on Human Rights


Presenters (alphabetical): 

1.Ioannis N. Dimitrakopoulos

2.Janel Gauthier

3.Artemis Giotsa

4.Polli Hagenaars

5.Peter Kinderman

6.Kerstin Söderström 

7.Nora Sveaass

8.Ava Thompson



Ulrich Wagner


3. Macro Area and topics: 

Area:  C 

Topics:  A - H


4. Introduction & Objectives 

EFPA wants to articulate more strongly the responsibilities of psychologists and to develop policies for counteracting Human Rights violations. Therefore, a Task Force Human Rights has been established.

Human Rights are documented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by national states. Responsibilities of psychologists for the promotion of Human Rights and counteracting violations of Human Rights derive from their expertise and role in society as reflected in their Codes of Ethics. This symposium distinguishes responsibilities of psychologists for their clients and for the society at large and scope for action by individual psychologists as well by national and international associations of psychologists.

The Task Force intends to develop a policy that will enable action to be taken based on the unique expertise and competence of psychologists. This policy is meant to raise awareness of Human Rights and (risks of) Human Rights violations, to prevent Human Rights violations, to promote Human Rights, and to alleviate the effects of Human Rights violations. 


The focus of the first part of this double symposium is on the ethical and professional responsibilities of psychologists for the protection and promotion of Human Rights, especially in the light of the EFPA Meta Code. The core question to be discussed is: what can and what should professional psychologists do as individuals, as well as what can and what should EFPA Member Associations do about promoting Human Rights.

The second part of the symposium will underscore the need for education in Human Rights. The assumption is that Human Rights should be part of university education and professional training, including Continued Professional Development. This symposium aims to contribute to the development of curricula and ways to transfer knowledge and experience.


5. Speakers presentations 


Polli Hagenaars, convenor EFPA Task Force on Human Rights

Convenor Task Force on Human Rights, 

NIP PO Box 2085, 3500 GB Utrecht, The Netherlands

Email: polli.hagenaars@HumanRightsEFPA.eu 


Presenters (in alphabetical order):

1.Ioannis N. Dimitrakopoulos, 

Head of Equality and Citizens' Rights Department, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 1040 Vienna, Austria

Email: Ioannis.Dimitrakopoulos@fra.europa.eu  

2.Janel Gauthier, PhD, 

Professor Emeritus, École de Psychologie, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, G1V 0A6, Canada 

Email: janel.gauthier@psy.ulaval.ca

3.Artemis Giotsa, PhD,

Assistant Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Ioannina, Greece

Email: agiotsa@gmail.com 

4.Polli Hagenaars, MSc,

Convenor Task Force on Human Rights, NIP PO Box 2085, 3500 GB Utrecht, The Netherlands

Email: polli.hagenaars@HumanRightsEFPA.eu 

5.Peter Kinderman, PhD, 

Professor of Clinical psychology, University of Liverpool, UK, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, Waterhouse Building, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Email: P.Kinderman@liverpool.ac.uk 

6.Kerstin Söderström, PhD, 

Associate professor/Postdoc, Child Psychologist, Lillehammer University College, PO 952, 2604 Lillehammer, Norway

Email: kerstins@online.no 

7.Nora Sveaass, PhD,

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, PO 1094, Blindern, 0378 Oslo, Norway

Email: nora.sveaass@psykologi.uio.no

8.Ava Thompson, PhD, 

Associate Professor, Psychology College of The Bahamas, P. O. Box N-4912 Nassau, Bahamas




Ulrich Wagner, PhD, 

Professor of Social Psychology at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany.

Philipps-Universität Marburg, Department of Psychology, 35032 Marburg, Germany

Email: wagner1@uni-marburg.de


6. Abstracts of presentations (350 characters, spaces included, each) (at random order)


Human Rights in Europe (Greece)

Artemis Giotsa


This present paper describes the protection of Human Rights in Greece. The country is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Many problems arise in different fields in Greece: the treatment of migrants, refugees and Roma families, conditions in prisons, along with many other topics.


How can psychological knowledge and formal procedures contribute to strengthen Children’s Rights?

Kerstin Söderström


The right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration is vague and often put aside when in conflict with other interests or principles. This presentation discusses how children´s rights and best interests can be strengthened by psychological knowledge and procedures of best-interest assessments and determinations.  


Embedding Human Rights into the professional duties of psychologists

Peter Kinderman


Applied psychologists are confronted with human rights challenges, and are subject to several sets of expectations; from professional bodies, regulators, legislators and external pressure groups. This presentation will discuss the UK experience of embedding human rights responsibilities into psychologists’ statutory standards of proficiency. 


Psychologists, Human Rights and ethics - societal responsibilities of psychologists

Nora Sveaas


Ensuring that human rights are respected and that all individuals are protected from abuse or violations represent important challenges in all societies. Psychologists have responsibilities related to this. Participation in monitoring bodies and contributions to reporting and implementation of recommendations, as well as the need for human rights education for psychologists will be highlighted.


The evolution of documents asserting Human Rights: Implications for Human Rights promotion and education

Janel Gauthier


There is a movement in psychology to develop policies that articulate the ethical responsibilities of psychologists for promoting Human Rights (HR) and counteracting HR violations. In this presentation, I examine the historical development and the contemporary meaning of HR and I discuss the implications of my findings for HR promotion and education in psychology.


Children’s Rights and psychology education and training: Advancing children’s well-being in the global community

Ava Thompson


The CRC has transformed child welfare legislation and policy development in the global community but there is limited evidence of its integration into psychology education and training (PET). In this paper I present a Bahamian model for teaching children’s rights as a social value system and discuss the implications for advancing psychology’s engagement in promoting children’s rights and well-being. 


Human Rights, a societal responsibility for psychologists: implications for professional education

Polli Hagenaars


As Human Rights are a responsibility of psychologists, this should have implications for their education and training. This societal responsibility has to be ‘translated’ into knowledge and practice for psychologists. As Human Rights have been formulated predominantly in judicial and political terms, a societal perspective on Human Rights needs to be further elaborated.