Human Rights Education for Psychologists  book cover
1st Edition

Human Rights Education for Psychologists

ISBN 9780429274312
Published March 12, 2020 by Routledge
316 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This ground-breaking book is designed to raise awareness of human rights implications in psychology, and provide knowledge and tools enabling psychologists to put a human rights perspective into practice.

Psychologists have always been deeply engaged in alleviating the harmful consequences human rights violations have on individuals. However, despite the fundamental role that human rights play for professional psychology and psychologists, human rights education is underdeveloped in psychologists’ academic and vocational training. This book, the first of its kind, looks to change this, by:

  • raising awareness among professional psychologists, university teachers and psychology students about their role as human rights promoters and protectors
  • providing knowledge and tools enabling them to put a human rights perspective into practice
  • providing texts and methods for teaching human rights.

Featuring chapters from leading scholars in the field, spanning 18 countries and six continents, the book identifies how psychologists can ensure they are practising in a responsible way, as well as contributing to wider society with a clear knowledge of human rights issues in relation to culture, gender, organisations and more.

Including hands-on recommendations, case studies and discussion points, this is essential reading for professional psychologists as part of continuing professional development and those in training and taking psychology courses.

For additional electronic resources for students and teachers, see the support material tab on the Routledge book page:

Table of Contents




Part I: A human rights based-and-oriented psychology

Chapter 1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Foundations for a human rights based-and-oriented psychology Polli Hagenaars and Ava Thompson

Chapter 2. Human rights: how do they matter for the profession of psychology? Nora Sveaass and Michael Wessells

Chapter 3. Main human rights instruments and bodies, relevant for psychologists’ interventions Manfred Nowak and Anna Zenz

Chapter 4. Human Rights: Cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives Rama Charan Tripathi

Chapter 5. Critical human rights-based approach to applied psychology: Context and power Nimisha Patel

Part II: Psychology and social accountability

Chapter 6. Human rights and professional identity George Ulrich and Tony Wainwright

Chapter 7. Use and misuse of psychological science, knowledge and research Tony Wainwright and Giovanna Leone

Chapter 8. Playing together: Children’s human rights and psychology Kerstin Söderström and Ragnhild Dybdahl

Chapter 9. Human rights in business and employment: Promoting the right to decent work Kathleen Otto, Martin Mabunda Baluku, Ulrike Fasbender and Ute-Christine Klehe

Chapter 10. Social accountability and action orientation: strengthening the policy making capacity of psychologists Elizabeth Lira

Part III: Human rights and professional practice

Chapter 11. Universal human rights: except for some Paul D’Alton

Chapter 12. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the challenge to treatment without consent of individuals with psychosocial disabilities Bernadette McSherry and Lisa Waddington

Chapter 13. Forced migration: psychological contributions that might help to improve the human rights situation Ulrich Wagner

Chapter 14. Indigenous communities facing environmental racism: Human rights, resilience, and resistance in Palestinian communities of the West Bank and the Mapuche of Chile Devin G. Atallah and Michael Ungar

Chapter 15. Torture and the role of the psychological profession Pau Pérez-Sales and Nora Sveaass

Chapter 16. Gender and war: Bosnian psychologists dealing with conflict related sexual violence during and after war Inger Skjelsbæk

Part IV: Human rights educational practice for psychologists

Chapter 17. Core competences for psychologists practicing human rights-based approaches Marlena Plavšić, Tony Wainwright and Artemis Giotsa

Chapter 18. Planning human rights education for psychologists Felisa Tibbitts and Polli Hagenaars

Chapter 19. Stories of human rights: teaching and learning Sarah Butchard, Tommy Dunne, Hilda Engel and Artemis Giotsa


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Polli Hagenaars is a licensed psychotherapist and trainer for diversity policy with her own institute, C5, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Diversity and non-discrimination have been major themes throughout her professional career, including combating racism in the educational system, and teaching transcultural pedagogy at university colleges.

Marlena Plavšic started her psychological career dealing with the consequences of human rights violations while working with refugees and displaced persons from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s. She teaches at the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia and takes part in various community projects.

Nora Sveaass is professor emerita at the University of Oslo, Norway with research focusing on refugees, rehabilitation of victims of torture and transitional justice. She was Chair of the Human Rights Committee in the Norwegian Psychological Association from 1998 to 2018 and currently is a member of the United Nations Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture.

Ulrich Wagner is a professor emeritus of social psychology at the Philipps-University Marburg in Germany. His research focuses on the improvement of intergroup relations. It is especially concerned with the reduction of ethnic prejudice, discrimination and violence as well as the promotion of intergroup acceptance and tolerance.

Tony Wainwright is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Exeter, UK. His research interests are ethics, human rights, climate change and psychology. He is concerned with the effect that human activity has environmentally, and its impact on human rights and the lives of the plants and animals with which we share the world.