Preventing Torture in Nepal: A Public Health and Human Rights Intervention

J Bioeth Inq. 2016 Jun;13(2):223-37. doi: 10.1007/s11673-016-9712-6. Epub 2016 Mar 29.


In this article we address torture in military and police organizations as a public health and human rights challenge that needs to be addressed through multiple levels of intervention. While most mental health approaches focus on treating the harmful effects of such violence on individuals and communities, the goal of the project described here was to develop a primary prevention strategy at the institutional level to prevent torture from occurring in the first place. Such an approach requires understanding and altering the conditions that cause and sustain "atrocity producing situations" (Lifton 2000, 2004). Given the persistence of torture across the world and its profound health consequences, this is an increasingly important issue in global health and human rights.

Keywords: Nepal; Primary prevention; Public health; Systemic approaches; Torture.

MeSH terms

  • Codes of Ethics
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Expert Testimony / ethics*
  • Human Rights*
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel
  • Nepal / epidemiology
  • Physician's Role
  • Police
  • Primary Prevention
  • Public Health
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data
  • Torture* / psychology
  • Torture* / statistics & numerical data
  • United Nations
  • United States