Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 223–237 | Cite as

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

Symposium: Structural Competency


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.


Torture Public health Primary prevention Systemic approaches Nepal 



We would like to acknowledge Aastha Dahal, Kiran Grewal, Rohit Karki, Anna Noonan, and Pradeep Pathak for the research and project work in Nepal that is discussed in this article.


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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social PolicyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe New School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

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