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Outside the Box: Amplifying youth voices and views on YPS policy and practice

Psychosocial Support and Societal Transformation

This paper explores the key issue of mental health and psycho-social services (MHPSS), from a youth-specific perspective. Drawing on the assertions and recommendations of the YPS Progress Study, and coupled with the increasing attention to MHPSS within the sustaining peace agenda, this policy brief pays special attention to the role of youth-specific psycho-social services as a vital dimension of transformative youth resilience, essential to both addressing the consequences and prevention violent conflict.

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Brandon Hamber
Professor Brandon Hamber is the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University at the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE). He is a member of the Transitional Justice Institute. He trained as a Clinical Psychologist in South Africa. He has undertaken consulting and research work, and participated in peace initiatives, in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Liberia, Mozambique, Bosnia, Colombia, the Basque Country and Sierra Leone, among others. He has published some 30 journal articles, over 25 book chapters and 4 books. He was awarded The Paul Harris medal for contributions to peace by Rotary (2013), and was listed in the Top 100: The most influential people in armed violence reduction by the Action on Armed Violence Network (2013/2014). Professor Hamber is a board member of Healing Through Remembering (Northern Ireland) and Impunity Watch (Netherlands).
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Denis Martinez
Denis Martínez is an anthropologist and activist with a background in human rights, capacity building, and youth work in Central America. He is Impunity Watch country director in Guatemala since 2016. He was part of the research team of the UN Commission for Historical Clarification in Guatemala. Denis holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Texas in Austin and has published amongst others on the role of the state in repression, gang violence and on victim participation.
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Marlies Stappers
Marlies Stappers is the founder and Executive Director of Impunity Watch. As director, she has been deeply involved in research and policy work related to the fields of human rights, transitional justice, impunity reduction, and strengthening the role of civil society; and particularly victims and affected communities in countries such as Guatemala and Honduras, Burundi, the Great Lakes region, the Western Balkans and Cambodia. She is also the initiator of the Dutch Guatemala Platform against Impunity, today the International Platform against Impunity in Central America, of which she coordinates the Dutch branch. The International Platform is a group of dedicated NGOs from The Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, who, together with partner organisations in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua coordinate the international advocacy and lobbying to promote effective measures to combat impunity in Central America. Between 1995 and 2001, she worked in Guatemala as a researcher for the Guatemalan Historical Truth Commission and as an observer of the Peace Accords for the United Nations Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA). Her educational background is in Latin America Studies.
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David Taylor
David Taylor is Impunity Watch’s Country Director in Burundi, a post he has held since 2015. Prior to this, David was International Research Coordinator at Impunity Watch where he developed and coordinated various comparative research programmes, among others examining the dilemmas, pitfalls, and potential of memorialisation after violence. His discussion paper, Victim Participation in Transitional Justice Mechanisms: Real Power or Empty Ritual? has guided and shaped the development of our victim participation programme to date. David holds an LLM in International Human Rights from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. In addition to his work with Impunity Watch, David has published various academic pieces on transitional justice and international criminal law.
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Thomas Unger
Thomas Unger started working for Impunity Watch in 2016. He is also a researcher on transitional justice at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Co-Director of its Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. He is the former Senior Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
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