Advocacy & Policy
ISTSS at the UN
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ISTSS at the United Nations

ISTSS is committed to addressing global and international dimensions of traumatic stress, thus involvement with the work of the United Nations is integral to advancing the ISTSS mission.
Since its inception in 1985, ISTSS has provided a forum for sharing research, clinical strategies, and public policy concerns regarding trauma around the world.  In 1993, ISTSS was granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. ISTSS has three member representatives involved in the work of the United Nations.

ISTSS Advocacy Activities at the United Nations

In its mission to reduce trauma and its effects, ISTSS has specific advocacy interests in human rights; violence, war and refugees; crime and justice; rights of women and children; health and mental health; emergency planning; and poverty and development concerns.  ISTSS engages in efforts to encourage UN member states and UN bodies to ensure attention to victims' mental health and trauma, rights and care.

ISTSS' UN representatives regularly participate in meetings and special events of the Congress of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Committees, including the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW), Committee for Mental Health (CMH), Human Rights Committee, Education Committee and the NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (ACPCJ).

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).  The CRC is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights--civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders recognized that children, all individuals below age eighteen needed a special convention to promote and protect them. The convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. Ratified by 193 states parties, it is the most widely endorsed human rights treaty in history. In 2010, the United States and Somalia are the only members of the United Nations who have yet to ratify the CRC.

ISTSS has joined the U.S. Campaign to Ratify the CRC adding its support to hundreds of individuals, academic institutions and partner organizations. The U.S. Campaign is a volunteer-driven network of academics, attorneys, child and human rights advocates, educators, members of religious and faith-based communities, physicians, representatives from non-governmental organizations, students and other concerned citizens who seek to bring about U.S. ratification and implementation of the CRC.

Read more about ISTSS and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (see pg 2 of July 2010 StressPoints)