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Ensuring a Trauma-Informed Approach to Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIL in Iraq

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This event will be held on Stanford's main campus and livestreamed. RSVP for the campus-based event here. Register for the Zoom-based webinar here.

For the past three years, Stanford’s Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Program (HRTHMP) has been working with the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD) to promote a trauma-informed approach to human rights investigation that adequately acknowledges trauma’s long-term impact on individuals, families, and communities while maximizing the potential for empowerment and agency for trauma survivors.

In support of UNITAD’s mission to hold ISIL accountable for committing grave human rights abuses, the Stanford and Iraq-based teams recently launched a trauma-informed investigations field guide and accompanying reference manual that lay out practical, evidence-based practices for each stage of investigative work, as well as guidance on self and community care for investigators. They see this as a key step toward fundamentally adapting the way legal advocates, investigators, first responders, and mental health practitioners understand trauma related to human rights abuses, both in how they are trained to work with survivors and how they guide various justice systems’ understanding of the impact of these harms. Join these United Nations’ psychologists and the Stanford Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Program to learn more.


Dr. Daryn Reicherter is the director of the Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Program and a clinical professor in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He has expertise in the area of cross-cultural trauma psychiatry, having spent more than a decade dedicated to providing a combination of administrative and clinical services in trauma mental health locally and internationally. He is on the List of Experts for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and for the United Nations’ International Criminal Court. He is on the Fulbright Specialists Roster for his work in international trauma mental health. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Innovations in Global Health at Stanford University. He has created and cultivated new clinical rotations for residency education and medical school education in the community clinics that he operates. And he has created new opportunities for resident, medical student, and undergraduate education in Global Mental Health. He has also been involved in the creation of clinical mental health programs for underserved populations in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the Faculty Adviser for the Stanford’s Free Clinic Mental Health Program.


Dr. Nenna Ndukwe is a British clinical and forensic psychologist currently working as Lead psychologist within the Witness Protection and Support Unit of United Nations Investigative Team to Promote the Accountability of Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD). She holds a Doctorate in clinical psychology and Master of Science in forensic and legal psychology. Nenna has worked in the UK prison services, forensic maximum secure correctional units, healthcare, universities, and conflict affected settings. In her 20 years of professional experience she has worked in the U.K, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Iraq. Her main areas of expertise include: assessment and treatment of mental health disorders in children and adults, psychological interventions for survivors of traumatic life events, psychological assessment and implementation of special measures for vulnerable witnesses in preparation for legal processes.

Sarah Alcalay is a French licensed clinical psychologist working within the Witness Protection and Support Unit of United Nations Investigative Team to Promote the Accountability of Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD). Sarah has over eight years’ experience in the coordination of mental health and psycho-social support programs in emergency contexts in Africa and Middle East within various UN agencies and international NGOs.

Chinedu Ezemokwe a Nigerian national is a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Clinical Psychologist within the Witness Protection and Support Unit of UNITAD. As part of his duties, he provides vulnerability assessments for witnesses to mitigate the harm of re-traumatization and develop referral networks for longer term medical and psychosocial care when needed. He gives expert advice and practical support to investigators to promote gathering of complete and accurate information from witnesses and survivors. He trains national psychosocial actors in Iraq on various topics related to trauma informed care, self-care and vicarious trauma. In addition, Chinedu supports the unit in gathering mental health data which can be used in the future for expert reports on the psychological impact of international crimes on survivors and communities.

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