Keynote Speakers

Derrick Silove

Professor Derek Silove

Professor Silove is the Director of Psychiatry Research & Teaching at the Mental Health Centre, Liverpool Hospital, Australia. He specialises in the area of mass trauma, transcultural psychiatry and refugee and postconflict mental health. His specific interests are in post-traumatic stress disorder; anxiety disorders, developmental psychology, asylum seekers, violence, war and post conflict, and ethics, human rights and health.

Professor Silove has published over 300 journal articles, book chapters, monographs and major reports. He has won the Simpson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Services (for pioneering work in Refugee Mental Health) and the Dean's Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2010. He was also on the Queen's honours list in 2016 for Significant Service to Medicine in the Field of Psychiatry, to Medical Research as an Academic, and to the Promotion of Mental Health and Human Rights.

His team is at the forefront of research in the field of refugee and post-conflict mental health worldwide and he has played a key role in establishing services for traumatic stress amongst refugees and conflict-affected populations and in the anxiety disorders in general in Australia and internationally in post-conflict societies. Professor Silove has also been a consultant for a range of international agencies including the WHO, UNHCR and World Federation for Mental Health.

Women of Atenco - Campaign against sexual torture and political repression

We were arrested and physically and sexually tortured on 4 May 2006, as part of a population control operation led by the police and involving three levels of government.

We are those who did not surrender to the misogyny of the state, and rejected the place that perpetrators assigned to us. They tried to take our identity, but we responded by shouting our name out loudly and reclaiming our right to be.

This effort stems from the summer of 2008 with the firm objective to fight and reverse the effects of sexual torture on both ourselves and the environments in which we live; to identify the objectives of political repression and to build collective counteractive strategies. Breaking paradigms, taboos and raising awareness about the stigmatisation of survivors.

The Women of Atenco were recently the subject of a New York Times article, available in English and Spanish.


Carlos Martin Beristain

Carlos Martin Beristain is a physician, specialist in Health Education and doctor in psychology. He is currently a Professor of Epidemiology and Psychosocial Health of the European Master in International Humanitarian Aid at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. He has spent the last 27 years working with victims of human rights violations in psychosocial care and projects of collective memory.

He has been coordinator of the Guatemala Never Again report and advisory Truth Commissions in Paraguay, Peru and Ecuador, and is the author of investigations on missing persons and mass graves in Western Sahara. He has also been a member of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts established by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission for the case of 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa (Mexico).

Professor Beristain has been an expert before the court in seven cases for the psychosocial and medical evaluation in cases of missing relatives, torture, impunity in cases of disappeared children, extrajudicial executions and massacres. He has also worked as a consultant for the International Criminal Court and/or the Victims Fund on working with victims in several African countries. He has written numerous books and research on working with victims, psychosocial approach and human rights violations.