Newsletter November/December 2019

EFPA Board Human Rights and Psychology Newsletter Year 3 Edition 11 & 12 – November/December 2019


December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Human rights are of central importance for psychological practice.



Tuesday 10th December 2019, marks Human Rights Day – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations celebrates the actions of all those throughout the world, psychologists among them, who act to protect human rights. We also remember the many people, young and old, who are deprived of fundamental rights and are suffering from human rights violations. Below are some examples of where psychology is playing a role in promoting and protecting human rights.


  1.  The impact of the climate and environmental emergency gets played out in a way that leads to those who have contributed least to climate change being affected the most – climate injustice indeed.
    The International Summit on Psychology and Global Health: A Leader in Climate Action (1) on November 14-16 in Lisbon, Portugal, brought together leaders in the field of psychology from nearly 40 countries from around the world to focus on elevating psychology’s role in addressing global climate change, specifically to help achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and agreed on the need for immediate and urgent action.
  2.  Another important field of violation of Human Rights is the denial of women’s rights.
    As described by UNICEF, 153 countries have laws which discriminate against women economically, including 18 countries where husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
    On average, women are paid 24% less than men for comparable work, across all regions and sectors. Nearly two thirds of the world’s 781 million illiterate adults are women, a proportion that has remained unchanged for two decades. Worldwide, 1 in 3 women and girls will experience violence or abuse in their lifetime (2).
    Psychologists take care in assessments and in interventions to evaluate and to empower women for equal participation and better self-esteem. At the same time, they develop diversity programs to make work conditions more suitable for minority groups among which women.
  3. One third of the refugees that arrive in Europe are children (3) and across the globe many grow up in refugee camps, often without the love and care of their parents. According to scientific evidence and widely accepted knowledge, needy and traumatized children depend on the caregiver to regulate states and emotions, to feel safe and develop soundly. Separation from the caregiver in times of war, dangers and prolonged stress will likely induce more harm to the child, create another loss and deepen the traumas already inflicted. For children in these circumstances good psychosocial support is essential. A wonderful example of how children can be helped is such situations is the Fairstart Foundation (4), founded by psychologist Niels Peter Rygaard.  The purpose of Fairstart is to support caregivers by using innovative, evidence-based low-cost training programmes using the internet to local care systems and has been translated into many languages and is in use in many countries throughout the world, making a difference in children’s lives.

All of these human rights threats, and many others need to be addressed. We call on all psychologists to contribute to the improvement of the situation of people in disadvantaged situations. In order to promote and protect human rights, psychologists need to become engaged even more with Human Rights, and learn about how, where and when fundamental rights are at stake.






EFPA Board Human Rights and Psychology

  • The textbook Human Rights education for psychologists will be published spring 2020 by Routledge.
  • Petition to support Dr. Michal Bilewicz (doc 1)



  • 2nd EU-wide LGBT: around 140,000 people joined (doc 2)
  • FRA weekly Nov. 4 (doc 3)
  • FRA weekly Nov. 18 (doc 4)
  • FRP 11/11 (doc 5)
  • FRA weekly Dec. 2 (doc 6)
  • FRA weekly Dec. 9 (doc 7)
  • FRA weekly Dec. 16 (doc 8)
  • Is Europe creating a lost generation? (doc 9)
  • Report. Integration of young refugees (doc 10)
  • Idem. Annex to report young refugees. (doc 11)
  • Idem. Press release (doc 12)
  •  fra-2019-child-rights-in-the-eu (doc 13)


European institutions, EIUC, CoE, CPT, IOM, ENS, ECCHR 

  • ENS. Ukraine’s most vulnerable children deserve a passport. (doc 14)
  • ENS. 30 years CRC (doc 15)
  • ENS. Even where countries in Europe recognize marriage equality, children born to same-sex families remain at risk of statelessness (doc 16)
  • ECCHR. Newsletter 61. November 2019. (doc 17)
  • 2019 Eurochild report on European (doc 18)
  • idem. Press release (doc 19)


European news

  • The Independent. Majority of asylum seekers and refugees housed in poorer areas while dozens of councils support none. (doc 20)
  • EUPHA. Newsletter November (doc 21)


UN News / WHO

  • November 8 (doc 22)
  • November 22 (doc 23)
  • December 6 (doc 24)
  • Human Rights appeal 2019 (doc 25)
  • UNFPA Nairobi Summit (doc 26)
  • Quality Rights. Recovery and the right to health. (doc 27)


Scholars at Risk (SAR) / NCH

  • Newsletter November 1 (doc 28)
  • Newsletter November 8 (doc 29)
  • Scholars-at-Risk-Free-to-Think-2019 (doc 30)
  • Release Sakharov Prize winner Ilham Tohti (doc 31)
  • Chinese-born American history student Xiyue Wang, in prison in Iran since 7 August 2016, was released in a prisoner swap today. (doc 32)
  • Free to Think 2019, Scholars at Risk’s annual report documenting and analysing attacks on higher education communities around the world. (doc 33)
  • This year’s report analyzes 324 attacks on higher education communities in 56 countries (up from 294 in 47 countries last year), including violent targeted attacks on universities; imprisonment and prosecutions of scholars and students, especially in China and Turkey; and rising tensions in India, Sudan, Brazil, and beyond. 
  • These attacks directly target thousands and chill academic freedom and discourse across entire communities, damaging social, political, cultural, and economic development.
  • Scholars at Risk calls on states, higher education leaders, and the public to respond to these attacks: to reject violence and coercion aimed at restricting inquiry and expression; to protect scholars, students, and universities; and to reaffirm publicly their commitment to academic freedom and the principles that critical discourse is not disloyalty, and that ideas are not crimes. 
  • Pakistan’s higher education sector faces significant violent and legislative pressures. (doc 34)
  • Wo kritische Stimmen zum Schweigen gebracht werden (doc 35)


Climate Change

  • International federation for Human Rights. More than 400 NGOs co-sign a statement at the Peoples’ Summit on Climate, Rights and Human Survival. (doc 36)
  • Climate change poses unprecedented health risks to children (doc 37)
  • MEDAM-assessment-report_2019 (doc 38)
  • Climate change deniers (doc 39)
  •  Climate change activism ‘reducing mental health symptoms among young people’ (doc 40)
  • Psychologists from 40 countries pledged to use their jobs to address climate change (doc 41)
  • Climate Emergency’ Its 2019 Word of the Year (doc 42)
  • The Birth of Climate Denial (doc 43)
  • The12 questions every climate activist hears; the climate reality project (doc 44)


Children’s Rights

  • EFPA SC for Crisis, Disaster and Trauma. Children of ISIS’ parents (doc 45)
  • Psychology Today. Children’s Freedom: A Human Rights Perspective (doc 46)
  • NY Times. An explosion in Child Abuse (doc 47)


  •  Psychology Today. A Hidden form of domestic abuse. (doc 48)
  • Laura Hawks, MD1,2; Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH2,3; David U. Himmelstein, MD2,3; et al. Association between forced sexual initiation and health outcomes among US women. (doc 49)
  • ILGA World (2019). State-sponsored homophobia. (doc 50)
  • European parliament. The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union. (doc 51) 


Press, articles, books

  • Life sciences, Society and Policy. Towards new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology (doc 52)
  • Quartz. Fighting poverty Nobel Prize (doc 53)
  • The Guardian. Are your tinned tomatoes picked by slave labour? (doc 54)
  • 2019 MEDAM Assessment Report. On asylum and migration policies In Europe (doc 55)
  • Editors: Jetten, J, & Peters, K. (Eds.), (2014). The social psychology of inequality. Springer. This book brings together for the first time the emerging body of social psychological research on inequality. (doc 56)
  • MOVIES: Guantanamo Drama 'Prisoner 760'. Prisoner 760 tells the true story of a fight for survival against all odds. Captured by the U.S. government as a suspected al-Qaida terrorist, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Rahim) languishes in prison for years without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Woodley). Together, they face countless obstacles in a desperate pursuit for justice. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by formidable military prosecutor Lt. Stuart Couch (Cumberbatch), eventually reveals a shocking and far-reaching conspiracy. (doc 57)
  • NY Times. CIA torture program (doc 58)
  • The new borders of Empire (doc 59)
  • Stand Up for Human Rights (doc 60)
  • The Guardian: Migrants from Libya not driven by hope of being rescued at sea – study (doc 61)

Higher Education

  • University World Education. Protests against inequality put universities in Chile in turmoil. (doc 62)
  • Turkish students. (doc 63)
  • Classes move to Vienna as Hungary makes rare decision to oust (doc 64)


Conferences, Grants, Contributions and Events

  • 32nd International Congress of Psychology (ICP2020), Prague, Czech Republic, 19-24 July 2020
  • CRCP2020, November 16-20 2020, Caribbean Resilience: Psychology’s Response to Historical and Contemporary Disasters, saint Croix, US Virgin Islands.