Identifying & Responding to the Torture of Children - A 4-Part Series for Healthcare Professionals

29 December, 2021

Dear CHIFA members

Good wishes for the festive season. This message is not an optimistic one but carries important information, sent. by Prof Jeff Goldhagen, President of the International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health. The four part series on Identifying and Responding to the Torture of Children will take place in February.

Tony Waterston

CHIFA profile: Tony Waterston is a retired consultant paediatrician who worked mainly in the community in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. He spent 6 years working in Zambia and Zimbabwe and directed the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Diploma in Palestinian Child Health teaching programme in the occupied Palestinian territories. He was an Editor of the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics and is on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Social Pediatrics. His academic interests are child poverty, advocacy for child health and children's rights. He is currently the lead moderator of CHIFA (HIFA's sister forum on child health and rights). He is also a member of the HIFA Steering Group.

Tony.Waterston AT

Jeff Goldhagen writes:

Colleagues and friends. Please mark your calendars for the 4-part series on Identifying and Responding to the Torture of Children. It is critically important that child health professionals understand the definitions of torture in children, how to recognize it, how to respond clinically and how to use the systems that are in place to address it. Given the vast number of children who are being impacted by violence, armed conflict, forced displacement, and other physical and mental assaults on their rights, there has never been a more important time for child health professionals to be involved.

Please disseminate this information as widely as possible.

Identifying & Responding to the Torture of Children

A 4-Part Series for Healthcare Professionals

February 1, 8, 15 & 22

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. EST (New York) / 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. CET (Geneva)


Healthcare providers across the globe are responding to calls to aid children who are the victims of violence and armed conflicts, have been displaced, are seeking refuge, and/or are in need of humanitarian care for many other reasons. Many of these children have experienced significant physical and emotional trauma—some of which rises to the level of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," or torture. Most health responders in these settings lack the knowledge, expertise, and experience to identify, document, and respond to the physical and emotional needs of these children and report their findings.

This 4-part training, presented in partnership with ISSOP will engage global experts to help prepare child health professionals to identify and respond to the torture of children. Participants will learn about the legal and human rights foundation of this work and the structures currently in place; how to recognize, document, and report the torture of children; the mental health effects of torture; and the role of international organizations and other stakeholders in thinking strategically on how to address this global tragedy. 1.5 CME credits per module will be available (6 CME credits for all four modules) from the University of Florida College of Medicine.



Module 1: Violence and Torture Against Children: What We Know

Learn about the broad array of international treaties, conventions, and documents that define torture and related violations of human rights--and why this is key to clinicians’ understanding of the importance of documenting physical and psychological violence that may rise to the level of torture. (1.5 CME credits)

FEBRUARY 1 at 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. EST


Module 2: Documentation of Violence and Torture: Basics and Best Practices

This module will focus on clinical skills including recognizing the different forms violence and torture can take; how to use tools in recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma as a result of violence; strategies for documenting and reporting in different settings; and the existing literature and published guidelines. (1.5 CME credits)

FEBRUARY 8 at 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. EST


Module 3: Displaced Children and Violence: Responding to the Effects on Mental Health

Learn about the impact of trauma by way of torture, violence, or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment; how to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma, particularly for displaced children as a result of violence; and gain confidence with psychological first aid through learning and practice via a case scenario. (1.5 CME credits)

FEBRUARY 15 at 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. EST


Module 4: Advocating against the Cruel, Inhuman, and Demeaning Violence and Torture against Children

Experts from key international organizations will participate in a panel discussion on: identifying past current and current efforts to advance the rights of children to be free of all forms of violence; identifying key stakeholders that must be involved in establishing a coordinated, sustained global initiative to stop the cruel, inhuman, and demeaning violence and torture of children; defining the organizational and support structures needed; and outlining next steps to mobilize a response. (1.5 CME credits)

FEBRUARY 22 at 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. EST


Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Florida College of Medicine and International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP); University of San Francisco (UCSF); International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN). The University of Florida College of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit: The University of Florida College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For any questions about this training, please contact<>