Past Projects

Hidden Slaves: Forced Labor in the United States

Eric Stover
Laurel Fletcher
Kevin Bales
2004

Forced labor is a serious and pervasive problem in the United States. At any given time ten thousand or more people work as forced laborers in scores of cities and towns across the country. And it is likely that the actual number is much higher, possibly reaching into the tens of thousands. Because forced labor is hidden, inhumane, widespread, and criminal, sustained and coordinated efforts by U.S. law enforcement, social service providers, and the general public are needed to expose and eradicate this illicit trade.

This report documents the nature and scope of forced labor in the...

School Voices: Challenges Facing Education Systems after Identity-Based Conflicts

Harvey Weinstein
Sarah Warshauer Freedman
Holly Hughson
2007
We describe our research on the role of education in the social reconstruction of countries after mass conflict. Our studies focus on the voices of those least heard in the discourse--teachers, students, administrators and parents. We examine schools in four societies that experienced profound violence, ethnic cleansing and genocide during the 1990s--Croatia, the UN-administered province of Kosovo in Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda. We question the assumptions that underlie current practice such as a narrow focus on emergency interventions, conflict resolution, peace...

Human Rights and Mass Disaster: Lessons from the 2004 Tsunami

Harvey Weinstein
Laurel Fletcher
Eric Stover
2007

This paper describes the results of an investigation into how the December, 2004 tsunami and its aftermath affected the human rights of the survivors. Teams of researchers interviewed survivors, government officials, representatives of international and local nongovernmental organisations, UN officials, the military, police, and other key informants in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Indonesia, and Thailand. We also analysed newspaper articles, reports released by governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and private humanitarian aid groups, and we examined the laws and policies related to...

Exposure to War Crimes and Implications for Peace Building in Northern Uganda

Patrick Vinck
Eric Stover
Phuong Pham
Harvey Weinstein
2007
Context:

Since the late 1980s, the Lord's Resistance Army has waged war against the Ugandan People's Democratic Army and the people of northern Uganda. Ending the conflict and achieving peace have proven to be challenges. In this context, it is important to examine population-based data on exposure to war crimes to understand how survivors perceive mechanisms aimed at achieving a lasting peace.

Objectives:

To assess the level of exposure to war-related violence and the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms in northern Uganda and to determine how...

The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire: Adapting a Cross-Cultural Instrument for Measuring Torture, Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Iraqi Refugees

Marwa Shoeb
Richard Mollica
Harvey Weinstein
2007
Background:

Mental health assessments in post-conflict zones have relied heavily on Western psychiatric scales. Yet, a strict dependence on the paradigms of Western psychiatry risks inappropriately prioritizing syndromes, such as PTSD, which, however important, are eclipsed by local concerns.

Material and Discussion:

In Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest population of Iraqi refugees in the United States, 60 Iraqi refugee life stories were collected in order to adapt the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) to the Iraqi context.

Conclusion:

The methodology described proved...

Living in Religious Time and Space: Iraqi Refugees in Dearborn, Michigan

Marwa Shoeb
Harvey Weinstein
Jodi Halpern
2007

Mental health assessments of refugees during and after conflict have relied heavily on Western psychiatric constructs and standardized scales, despite the overwhelmingly non-Western backgrounds of most survivors of contemporary wars. A strict dependence on the paradigms and language of Western psychiatry risks inappropriately prioritizing syndromes, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which, however important, are eclipsed by the concerns of local populations for whom indigenous idioms of distress may be more salient. Working in Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest population...

Rehabilitation and Community Integration of Trafficking Survivors in the United States

Rachel Shigekane
2007

Little has been reported on how survivors of trafficking integrate into new communities and what types of rehabilitation services and programs they may need to live independently and self-sufficiently. The release of federal funds under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to assist certain survivors of trafficking has spurred the rapid and eclectic development of advocacy programs and services. This article explores the needs of survivors of trafficking, the variety of services and advocacy programs that are developing to assist them, and the complex reactions of immigrant...

Ownership and Participation in Transitional Justice Mechanisms: A Sustainable Human Development Perspective from Eastern DRC

Patrick Vinck
Phuong Pham
2008

Sustainable human development principles underlie many of the objectives of transitional justice mechanisms. At the same time, the form, implementation and outcome of such mechanisms are influenced primarily by the political will, capacity and resources available to local, national and international institutions. Missing in the equation is the active involvement of the affected population in the planning and implementation phases. Building on the concepts of participation and ownership core to the philosophy and practice of sustainable human development, we use the results of a...