Social ecologies of health and conflict-related sexual violence: Translating 'healthworlds' into transitional justice

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This article discusses the relationship between health and transitional justice through a particular focus on the issue of conflict-related sexual violence. It is not, however, about the individual health needs of victims-/survivors, nor about possible ways that transitional justice processes might address these. Drawing on empirical data from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia and Uganda, it explores some of the health legacies of sexual violence in conflict and their wider significance for transitional justice. Embracing the World Health Organization’s definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, the article specifically seeks to demonstrate that conflict-related sexual violence (and its frequent entanglement with other forms of violence) affects not only individual but also social-ecological health. The article’s overall contention, thus, is that in the context of transitional justice, more than individual health matters. The broader “health” of social ecologies themselves is also critically important. Ultimately advocating a social-ecological reframing of transitional justice, the article utilizes Germond & Cochrane’s (2010) concept of 'healthworlds' to explore what this reframing might look like in practice.

Bibliographic note

Not yet published as of 11/10/2021.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Rights
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Sep 2021