Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

CISR envisions a world where people can build peaceful and prosperous futures free from the repercussions of conflict and disaster.

We help communities affected by conflict and trauma through innovative and reliable research, training, information exchange, and direct services such as:

Mine Risk Education
Peer Support
Management Training
Scientific Research
Publications
Who I Follow
Posts tagged "jmu"

united-nations:

This photo was taken by our UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime colleagues in Pakistan in support of the #igivehope campaign for Wednesday’s World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

We want you to take part too – share your hand heart photos either on the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking Facebook page or anywhere on social media using #igivehope.

More details are here.

tributetodiana:

The Diana Challenge

         ↳ Day 25 - First recollection of Diana you have

Diana visited Angola the week I turned twelve. The following Sunday, Brazilian TV showed her visit at great length, and I distinctly remember thinking how nice it was that a Princess was doing this sort of thing. I was aware of Diana’s existence before this trip, of course, but this was the first time I really paid attention to her. Cherished memories…

reportagebygettyimages:

"In Nicaragua…when they have rehabilitation centers, they are mostly in the capital, so it’s very difficult for people living in the countryside to get attention." - Sebastian Liste, photographer, on Nicaragua’s legacy of landmines.

Before Nicaragua ratified the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, in 1999, sixteen of its seventeen provinces were mine-affected, particularly rural communities and poorer areas. Just eleven years later, in 2010, Nicaragua was declared mine free, having cleared over 179,000 anti-personnel mines from its territory as well as half-a-million unexploded ordnance. There will no longer be new landmine victims in Nicaragua or in any other mine-free country, but this is of little help to survivors like Juan Lopez, above.

Back in the 1980’s, during the civil war in Nicaragua, Lopez was an able-bodied combatant. Both parties to the conflict laid AP landmines, especially in the north along the Honduras border. After the war, Lopez began working as a freelance deminer for farmers hiring former combatants for land clearance. In 1997, Lopez was demining a coffee plantation and stepped on an anti-personnel mine, blowing off one foot. A year later, he was demining his own farmland, stepped on another mine, and lost his other foot. Photographer Sebastian Liste met Juan Lopez while covering the legacy of landmines in Nicaragua. Watch this video to hear Sebastian Liste tell the story of Juan Lopez and other landmine victims.

In late 2013 and early 2014, five Reportage photographers undertook a group project, commissioned by the ICRC, to document landmines, cluster munitions, and unexploded remnants of war. For this project, Brent Stirton worked in Mozambique, Veronique de Viguerie in Bosnia, Marco Di Lauro in Iraq, Sebastian Liste in Nicaragua, and Paula Bronstein in Laos. Watch this space in the following week for videos about landmine clearance in these other countries.

Although landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) impact people living in post-conflict communities, many civilians are not knowledgeable about the types of explosive remnants of war (ERW) that threaten their daily lives. Landmine museums that display landmines and UXO that are no longer dangerous can be enlightening for visitors. Post-conflict communities in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia have established at least 13 museums featuring landmines and ERW.

Aki Ra’s dog, Boom-boom, takes a nap on a display of disarmed anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenades and unexploded aerial bombs at the Cambodian Landmine Museum and Relief Facility. Photo courtesy of Cameron Macauley.

Read more…

reportagebygettyimages:

'They move one meter by one meter, on their knees. They do this for 10 hours a day, every day, with incredible dedication and effort.' - Marco Di Lauro, Photographer, on clearing landmines in Iraq.

In Iraq, as violence continues to flare, the legacy of old conflicts still remains in the form of buried landmines. The work of clearing the mines is painstaking and dangerous, but is of great importance in the protection of local civilians. Landmines stay active and continue to maim and kill long after wars have ended.

See Di Lauro discuss his work documenting landmines in Iraq for ICRC.

CISR raises peer-support awareness in USCRI panel on Syrian refugee crisis 

On Friday, May 23, CISR Trauma Rehabilitation Specialist Cameron Macauley participated in a concluding panel for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)’s annual National Network Conference. The panel, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., featured presentations from three experts on Syrian refugees: Macauley; Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Senior Advisor for Government Relations and External Affairs Jana Mason; and National Geographic journalist and activist Aziz Abu Sarah (also a director at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University). USCRI president Lavinia Limon facilitated the panel, which consisted of presentations and a 20-minute Q&A. Before introducing the panelists, Limon spoke of her visit to a camp in Jordan, stating, “I came away absolutely incensed at the terrible things these people had gone through and incensed at the national response. We’re living through a period where horror is happening … all while we’re at a conference.”

As the initial speaker, Mason provided an in-depth overview of the refugee situation in Syria to date. According to Mason, there are currently 2.8 million registered Syrian refugees, and UNHCR is prepared for 4 million before the end of the year. There is no end in sight to the conflict, and thus no foreseeable drop in refugee flow. In addition to these registered numbers, there are 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), totaling more than 9 million persons of concern. As a result, Syrian refugees and IDPs are UNHCR’s largest population of concern globally. UNHCR relief agencies and partners are forced to do vulnerability assessments when providing services. “You can only imagine how difficult it is making a vulnerability assessment when everybody is vulnerable,” Mason lamented. She also iterated several times that “this is a children’s refugee crisis.” Mason concluded, “we need development assistance now—not waiting until the crisis is over. These [host] countries need support in order to ensure that they do not close their borders to future refugees.”

In follow-up to Mason’s overview of the refugee crisis, Macauley provided an examination of psychological trauma in these refugees and how “refugees enter these camps with traumatic experiences, and then these camps provided additional layers of trauma.” When entering the camps, refugees may have post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses not currently being treated. Once there, refugees may not have access to services, or even if they do, “every aspect of socialization has been affected.” From Macauley’s research, he reports that many refugees do not feel safe even after reaching camps. The Syrian conflict has specifically seen an unparalleled amount and level of sexual violence, which Macauley explains that both sides use as a weapon. He then discusses the cultural barriers impeding healing and notes that “in a society where victims of violence are further victimized, women are forced to bury their experiences.” In order to help, Macauley has facilitated trainings on providing peer support in other countries, and CISR hopes to implement this in Iraq.

The last speaker, Abu Sarah, presented the results of an article he wrote for National Geographic: “Five Things I Learned in Syrian Refugees.” Abu Sarah covered five revelations:

  1.  Many refugees are not counted.
  2.  The host countries are in crisis.
  3. Children’s education is neglected.
  4. Many Syrian refugees are still in Syria.
  5. Refugee camps are like a prison.

Abu Sarah expounded upon each point and provided anecdotes from his experiences traveling to multiple camps and conducting interviews. In his presentation, he urged the conference audience to “listen to the stories, because sometimes the numbers can be overwhelming. When it gets that way, really go back and listen to the stories, because everybody has one, and it reminds us that these are more than numbers—they’re people.”

Lastly, the session featured a Q&A panel. Several questions for Macauley focused on the role and balance of psychological support, based on the tumultuous conditions. In response, Macauley emphasized the importance of peer support, which could be carried wherever peer mentors traveled, thus hopefully resulting in a larger impact. 

Sami Noble
James Madison University Class of 2015
Master of Public Administration
Intern at Center for International Stabilization and Recovery