Documentation of torture in children and young adults: Time to reflect

  • Pau Pérez-Sales Torture Journal
Keywords: Istanbul Protocol, torture documentation, torture in children and young adults

Abstract

Documenting torture in children and young adults (ChYA) is a challenge. Less than 3% of academic papers on documentation and rehabilitation of torture victims are focused on children and youth. In the Delphi study on research priorities in the sector (Pérez-Sales, Witcombe, & Otero Oyague, 2017), five lines were proposed regarding torture in children, which covered: developmental disruptions related to the torture of relatives; developmental deficits related to infant torture; the effect on caregivers of torture/kidnapping of their children; the impact of torture on identity and worldviews among adolescents; and transgenerational trauma. The latter was considered among the 40 top research priorities. In this editorial, we briefly review: aspects related to the notion of torture as applied to ChYA; specific ethical problems in forensic documentation; and challenges in consistency statements. By doing so, we aim to outline key challenges that researchers and practitioners ought to pursue.

References

Allen, B., & Tussey, C. (2012). Can Projective Drawings Detect if a Child Experienced Sexual or Physical Abuse? Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 13(2), 97–111. https://doi. org/10.1177/1524838012440339

Amnesty International. (2000). Hidden scandal, secret shame. Torture and ill-treatment of children.

Baita, S., & Moreno, P. (2015). Abuso sexual infantil. Cuestiones relevantes para su tratamiento en la justicia (Sexual abuse in children. Questions relevant to the judicial system). https://doi.org/10.5867/medwave. 2005.06.1967

Baro, D. (2006). Children witnessing atrocities against parents or caregivers, a human rights perspective. Torture Journal, 16(3), 190–219.

Beresford, S. (2005). Child Witnesses and the International Criminal Justice System. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 3(3), 721–748. https:// doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqi031

Björn, G. J., Bodén, C., Sydsjö, G., & Gustafsson, P. A. (2011). Psychological evaluation of refugee children: Contrasting results from play diagnosis and parental interviews. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 16(4), 517–534. https://doi. org/10.1177/1359104510384550

Brueggemann, W. (2018). Children in the street: the palestinian case. Fortress Press. https://doi. org/10.2307/j.ctv47w9h9.19

Byrne, I. (1999). The Human Rights of Street and Working Children : A Practical Manual for Advocates. Consortium for Street Children UK. Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. (2015). Protecting Children against Against Torture in Detention.

Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2015). Multilevel developmental perspectives on child maltreatment. Development and Psychopathology, 27(4pt2), 1385–1386. https://doi.org/10.1017/ s0954579415000814

Cloitre, M., Stolbach, B. C., Herman, J. L., Van Der Kolk, B., Pynoos, R., Wang, J., & Petkova, E. (2009). A developmental approach to complex PTSD: Childhood and adult cumulative trauma as predictors of symptom complexity. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22(5), 399–408. https://doi. org/10.1002/jts.20444

Dalgaard, N. T., & Montgomery, E. (2015). Disclosure and silencing: A systematic review of the literature on patterns of trauma communication in refugee families. Transcultural Psychiatry, 52(5), 579–593. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461514568442

Defence for children international. (2016). Practical Guide. Monitoring places where children are deprived of liberty.

den Otter, J. J., Smit, Y., dela Cruz, L. B., Özkalipci, Ö., & Oral, R. (2013). Documentation of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of children: A review of existing guidelines and tools. Forensic Science International, 224(1–3), 27–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.11.003

Donohue, W. T. O., & Fanetti, M. (2016). Forensic Interviews Regarding Child Sexual Abuse. Cham: Springer International Publishing. https://doi. org/10.1007/978-3-319-21097-1

Freud A. (1943). War and Children. New York: Willard. Gadeberg, A. K., & Norredam, M. (2016). Urgent need for validated trauma and mental health screening tools for refugee children and youth.

European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 25(8), 929–931. https://doi.org/10.1007/ s00787-016-0837-2

Halevi, G., Djalovski, A., Vengrober, A., & Feldman, R. (2016). Risk and resilience trajectories in warexposed children across the first decade of life. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 57(10), 1183–1193. https://doi. org/10.1111/jcpp.12622

Hoft, M., & Haddad, L. (2017). Screening Children for Abuse and Neglect. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 13(1), 26–34. https://doi.org/10.1097/ JFN.0000000000000136

Holman, A. (2012). A step-by-step guide for child protection programmes to the design and implementation of KAP survey methods. Save the Children.

Jones, L. (2008). Responding to the needs of children in crisis. International Review of Psychiatry, 20(3), 291–303. https://doi. org/10.1080/09540260801996081

Jones, L. (2018). Adversity and resilience: 10 lessons I have learnt from working with children in humanitarian emergencies. BMJ—Archives of Disease in Childhood, Ahead of P(0), 1–4. https://doi. org/10.1136/archdischild-2017-314038

Kadir, A., Shenoda, S., & Goldhagen, J. (2019). Effects of armed conflict on child health and development : A systematic review. PLOS One, 1–37. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210071

Kaplan, I., Stolk, Y., Valibhoy, M., Tucker, A., & Baker, J. (2016). Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition. Transcultural Psychiatry, 53(1), 81–109. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461515612933

Kellogg, N. D. (2007). Evaluation of Suspected Child Physical Abuse. PEDIATRICS, 119(6), 1232– 1241. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2007-0883

Laney, C., & Loftus, E. F. (2013). Recent advances in false memory research. South African Journal of Psychology, 43(2), 137–146. https://doi. org/10.1177/0081246313484236

Lenta, P. (2017). Is Corporal Punishment Torturous? Journal of Applied Philosophy, 34(1), 74–88. https://doi.org/10.1111/japp.12134

Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H. N. (2000). The scientific status of projective techniques. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 1(2), 27–66. https://doi.org/10.1111/1529-1006.002

Masten, A. S. (2019). Resilience from a developmental systems perspective. World Psychiatry, 18(1), 101–102. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20591

Mathews, B., & Collin-Vézina, D. (2019). Child Sexual Abuse: Toward a conceptual model and definition. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 20(2), 131–148. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838017738726

Mendez, J. E. (2015). Torture and ill-treatment of children deprived of their liberty (A/HRC/28/68). Geneva.

Montgomery, E. (2010). Trauma and resilience in young refugees: A 9-year follow-up study. Development and Psychopathology, 22(2), 477–489. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579410000180

NICE. (2017). Guideline NG76 Child abuse and neglect : recognising , assessing and responding to abuse and neglect of children and young people. London.

O’Donnell, D., & Liwski, N. (2010). Child victims of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Florence.

Panter-Brick, C., Hadfield, K., Dajani, R., Eggerman, M., Ager, A., & Ungar, M. (2018). Resilience in Context: A Brief and Culturally Grounded Measure for Syrian Refugee and Jordanian Host-Community Adolescents. Child Development, 89(5), 1803–1820. https://doi. org/10.1111/cdev.12868

Pérez-Sales, P. (2017). Psychological Torture: definition, evaluation and measurement. London-New York: Routledge.

Pérez-Sales, P., Witcombe, N., & Otero Oyague, D. (2017). Rehabilitation of torture survivors and prevention of torture: Priorities for research through a modified Delphi Study. Torture Journal, 27(3), 3–48. https://doi.org/10.7146/torture.v27i3

Pinheiro, P. S. (2006). World Report on Violence Against Children. Geneva: UNICEF. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412994149.n350

Pollak, S. D. (2015). Multilevel developmental approaches to understanding the effects of child maltreatment: Recent advances and future challenges. Development and Psychopathology, 27(4pt2), 1387–1397. https://doi.org/10.1017/ s0954579415000826

Quiroga, J. (2009). Torture in children. Torture Journal, 19, 66–87. Sar, V. (2011). Developmental trauma, complex PTSD, and the current proposal of DSM-5. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 2, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v2i0.5622

Seddighi, H., Salmani, I., Javadi, M. H., & Seddighi, S. (2019). Child Abuse in Natural Disasters and Conflicts: A Systematic Review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 152483801983597. https://doi. org/10.1177/1524838019835973

Slone, M., & Mann, S. (2016). Effects of War, Terrorism and Armed Conflict on Young Children: A Systematic Review. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 47(6), 950–965. https://doi. org/10.1007/s10578-016-0626-7

Suarez, E. B. (2013). Two decades later: The resilience and post-traumatic responses of Indigenous Quechua girls and adolescents in the aftermath of the Peruvian armed conflict. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37, 200–210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. chiabu.2012.09.011

Thakkar, M. J., Jaffe, A. M., & Vander Linden, R. S. (2015). Guidelines for Conducting a Victim- Sensitive Interview. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 24(7), 717–730. https://doi.org/10.1080/1053871 2.2015.1077365

Timshel, I., Montgomery, E., & Dalgaard, N. T. (2017). A systematic review of risk and protective factors associated with family related violence in refugee families. Child Abuse and Neglect, 70(March), 315–330. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. chiabu.2017.06.023

UNHCR. (2015). The Heart Of The Matter—Assessing Credibility when Children Apply for Asylum in the European Union.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (1999). Istanbul Protocol. Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. (PROFESSION). Geneva.

UNVF. (2016). How Can children Survive Torture?. Report on the Expert Workshop on redress and rehabilitation of child and adolescent victims of torture and the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Geneva.

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2005). Developmental trauma disorder. A new,rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 401–408. https://doi. org/10.3928/00485713-20050501-06

Veltman, M. W. M., & Browne, K. D. (2002). The assessment of drawings from children who have been maltreated: a systematic review. Child Abuse Review, 11(1), 19–37. https://doi.org/10.1002/ car.712

Vervliet, M., Lammertyn, J., Broekaert, E., & Derluyn, I. (2014). Longitudinal follow-up of the mental health of unaccompanied refugee minors. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 23(5), 337–346. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787- 013-0463-1

Volpellier, M. (2009). Physical forensic signs of sexual torture in children. A guideline for non specialized medical examiners. Torture Journal, 19, 157–166.

Voogt, A., Klettke, B., & Thomson, D. (2017). The Development of a Conceptual Model of Perceived Victim Credibility in Child Sexual Assault Cases. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 8719(June), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/132187 19.2017.1315764

Vrij, A. (2005). Criteria-Based Content Analysis: A Qualitative Review of the First 37 Studies. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11(1), 3–41. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8971.11.1.3

Yüksel, S., Saner, S., Basterzi, A. D., Oglagu, Z., & Bülbül, I. (2018). Genocidal sexual assault on women and the role of culture in the rehabilitation process: Experiences from working with Yazidi women in Turkey. Torture Journal, 28(3), 123–132. https://doi.org/10.7146/torture. v28i3.111201

Published
2019-05-22
How to Cite
Pérez-Sales, P. (2019). Documentation of torture in children and young adults: Time to reflect. Torture Journal, 29(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.7146/torture.v29i1.114028