The official conference language is English. For German speaking participants, the keynotes will be translated and we offer special sections in German.



Manfred Nowak
Univ. Prof. Dr. Manfred Nowak; Head of the Research Platform "Human Rights in the European Context", University of Vienna; Director, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights; former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Born 1950 in Bad Aussee (Austria), 1973 Promotion (Dr. Iur.) University of Vienna, 1975 LL.M Columbia University (New York), since 1992 Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (Vienna), 1993-2001 Member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, 1996 - 2003 Judge at the Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2000 - 2007 Chairperson of the “European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation” (E.MA, Venice), 2002 - 2003 Olof Palme Visiting Fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI, Lund/Sweden), 2002 - 2006 Member of the EU Network of Independent Experts in Fundamental Rights, since 2004 UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, 2007 - 2008 Professor for International Human Rights Protection at the University of Vienna; 2008 Member and Rapporteur of a Panel of Eminent Persons selected by the Swiss Foreign Minister to draft an Agenda for Human Rights; 2008 - 2009 Swiss Chair on Human Rights, Graduate Institute, Geneva; since 2008 head of the interdisciplinary research platform “Human Rights in the European Context” (University of Vienna); Member of the Austrian Monitoring Body of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;  since 2009 head of interdisciplinary PhD Research School “Empowerment through Human Rights” (University of Vienna); Member of the Coordinating Committee of UN  Special Procedures; Chair of COST Action “The Role of the EU in the Human Rights Reform”; author of more than 400 publications in the fields of constitutional, administrative and international law with a focus on fundamental and human rights.

„Fact-Finding and the Documentation of Torture: the Experiences of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture”

Date: Thursday 02.06.2011, 5.00-5.45 pm (Conference Opening)
Room: Auditorium Maximum (Audimax)

Psychological expertise plays today a crucial role in professional human rights work. Its contribution is no longer limited to aspects of rehabilitation of victims of human rights violation, but also assumes an important role in the course of human rights fact-finding and prevention.  Based on his professional experience as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and former member of the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, Prof. Manfred Nowak will enquire into the need for a “main-streaming” of psychological know-how and highlight key areas such as the interviewing of victims of torture, family members of disappeared, or the need for psychological supervision for human rights professionals in order to be able to cope with the suffering encountered. While focusing on the overwhelmingly beneficial role of psychological expertise, its abuse, such as revealed in relation to the interrogation of detainees at the US military base at Guantanamo bay, shall also be raised.



Masaharu Maeda
President of Japanese Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (Kurume University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry)

“Message from Japan: How do we overcome distress and difficulties after the catastrophe?”

Date: Thursday 02.06.2011, 5.45-6.15 pm (Conference Opening)
Room: Auditorium Maximum (Audimax)



Joop de Jong
Joop de Jong, MD, PhD, is Professor of Cultural and International Psychiatry at the VU University in Amsterdam and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine

Joop de Jong worked in (post)war areas in Africa, first as a tropical doctor and later as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Upon his return he did a PhD in anthropology and epidemiology. He was the founder and director of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization, a NGO that developed psycho-social and mental health programs in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His current interest is prevention of (the consequences of) armed conflict and transitional justice. Over the past 25 years he worked part-time with immigrants and refugees in Amsterdam. He (co)authored 235 chapters and papers in the field of cultural psychiatry and psychotherapy, epidemiology, public mental health and medical anthropology.

“Public mental health: the state of the art of dealing with massive stress”

Date: Friday 03.06.2011, 1.30-2.15 pm
Room: Auditorium Maximum (Audimax)

Despite high hopes of new developments in psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, we need to give more attention to contextual variables in managing mass traumatic stress, wherever it occurs in the world.

Low-income countries are disproportionally affected by disasters and armed conflicts with increased internal and external migration flows, poverty, and a large burden of psychosocial and mental health problems and human rights violations. In the aftermath of massive emergencies there is a large treatment gap and a need to develop contextually relevant and culturally appropriate preventive and curative interventions, the main theme of this lecture.



Nora Sveaass
Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. Member of the UN Committee against Torture
Clinical psychologist, Dr.psychol. Since 2008, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. Many years of work with refugees, in particular traumatized refugees (clinical work, training and research) at the Psychosocial Center for Refugees at the University of Oslo and at the Norwegian Center for Traumatic Stress and Violence Studies (section of Refugee Health and Forced Migration). Elected member of the UN Committee against Torture in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. Chair of the Human Rights Committee in the Norwegian Psychological Association since its establishment in 1998. Main professional interests: political psychology, refugees, human rights violations - consequences and treatment. Research projects in Nicaragua on psychosocial work in post-conflict societies, and in Norway on clinical work with refugees, in particular with refugee families. Currently engaged in a study on “Identification of vulnerable asylum seekers in Norway and EU – a comparative study” and responsible for a research project on reparation and redress after human rights violations, “Dealing with the past. Victims’ experiences of transitional justice in Argentina and Peru”.
Responsible for “Health and Human Right Info” (HHRI), an electronic resource base. Published a number of books and articles on psychology, human rights, torture and political psychology.

“Gross human rights violations and reparation: rehabilitation as form of reparation under international law – challenges and approaches.

Date: Saturday 04.06.2011, 8.30-9.15 am
Room: Auditorium Maximum (Audimax)

The strengthening of the International Criminal Law system, and a growing focus on the right to redress and reparation for victims of human rights violations represent important challenges also for health professionals, in particular for those engaged in the field of trauma research and therapy. As recognized in the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, the means to achieve full reparation include among others:  restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition (G.A. Res. 60/147, U.N. Doc. A/RES/60/147, Dec. 16, 2005).  The Convention against torture defines state obligations under article 14 as ensuring “that victims of torture obtain redress and have enforceable rights to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible” (UNCAT, 1984). This paper will discuss these obligations from a perspective of psychological trauma and treatment, and touch upon some of the questions raised by these important principles: How can health professionals participate in order to ensure that the right to rehabilitation after gross human rights  violations is actually provided, and in the best possible way? What does rehabilitation in a context of social and political trauma mean and what does it imply in a context of reparation after such trauma? And – must rehabilitation as reparation rely on the initiation of legal procedures? If the survivor lives in exile, does the right to rehabilitation as part of reparation extend beyond borders? And finally there is also a need to find a balance between the right to health as a free standing human right in relation to the right to rehabilitation as a form of reparation.

In the international legal deliberations on the right to redress, including the right to rehabilitation, the issues pointed to here are not adequately addressed. I will therefore take the opportunity to reflect upon ways in which researchers and clinicians from the trauma field can actively participate and contribute to this discussion, in a world where accountability and reparations after atrocities are understood as important steps in the struggle for global respect for human rights.



Please note: We are very sorry to inform you that Harald Jürgen Freyberger will unfortunately not be able to attend the conference, as he has fallen ill.  But we are happy to announce that PETER LIEBERMANN is going to present his keynote „Rückkehr aus dem Exil - Remigration nach 1945“.

Harald Jürgen Freyberger
Germany // DeGPT - Joint programming
Prof. Dr. med. Harald J. Freyberger, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Greifwald (Germany)

1957 born in Hamburg, Medical Schools in Hamburg und Zürich, 1985-1996 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy , Medical University of Luebeck, 1996–1997 Senior House Officer and vice clinical director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, since 12/1997 Professor for Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald. Editor of the journal: „Trauma & Gewalt – Forschung und Praxisfelder“

“60 years later: Posttraumatic stress disorders, salutogenetic factors, medical expert opinions in Holocaust survivors in the longitudinal section course”

Date: Friday 03.06.2011, 8.30-9.15 am
Room: Auditorium Maximum (Audimax)

Starting from 600 medical experts opinions with regard to applicants to German compensation boards each individual share of the posttraumatic stress disorders and the different salutogenetic elements are identified. In more than the half of the patients the posttraumatic stress disorders did not occur progressively. Their most frequent posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms were sleep disturbances, recurrent nightmares, intrusive recollections as well as depressive and anxiety disorders. The salutogenetic factors concerned the state of Israel, the distinguished communications within the marriage of two survivors, the birth of children and the systematic dealing with well describing holocaust topics.



Peter Bumke
Germany // EMDR Europe - Joint day
Social anthropologist, member of Trauma Aid-HAP Germany

Peter J. Bumke is a social anthropologist and Southeast-Asianist ( Ph.D Heidelberg 1970). He has done fieldwork in Thailand and Turkey,  worked in development projects in Jamaica and served, until his recent retirement, as a cultural exchange officer for the Goethe Institute in India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Over the last years he has become increasingly involved in helping to initiate and build up a trauma therapy network in SE-Asia and has, more particularily, designed and carried out research into the effectiveness of EMDR after the Tsunami in Aceh/Indonesia. At present he has joined a project to extend the training-cum therapy approach in psychotraumatology of the Aceh project into the wider SE-Asian region.

“Trauma centered psychotherapy and EMDR in a humanitarian mass disaster: Evaluating the Aceh experience.”

Date: Sunday 05.06.2011, 8.30-9.15 am
Room: Auditorium Maximum (Audimax)

In a project carried out by TraumaAid-HAP Germany between 2007 and 2009 and sponsored by tdh and German ODA more than 3200 adult and child clients were treated for psychic disorders related to traumatic experiences after the Tsunami of 2004 and the civil war in Aceh/Indonesia. To guide both the therapeutic processes and the training process in psychotraumatology and to check on their long term effectiveness an accompanying monitoring and research component provided detailed diagnostic data before and after therapy. These findings in turn were related to various traumatic events, to socio-economic conditions and to other non-psychological factors that had a bearing on the outcome of the therapies. Particular attention was given to a variety of cultural implications entailed in using therapies such as EMDR in a non-Western and deeply religious and traditional context.









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