The PrEP Program and its models have been extended to create the Survivors of Atrocity Crimes Care Program. We work in collaboration with the Whitney R Harris World Law Institute and the Washington University Law School.

This program assists Rohingya survivors in Bangladesh but serves to disseminate program models to help survivors of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide worldwide. The comprehensive care program fosters the wellbeing of survivors with an emphasis on educating and supporting survivor participation in the justice process. 

About the Rohingyas

The Rohingya people are an ethnic minority residing mostly in Rakhine State, Myanmar, until a sharp increase in decades-long discrimination and violence on the part of the Myanmar government spurred a mass migration of over 700,000 Rohingya refugees into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in August 2017.  Over 900,000 Rohingyas now reside in Bangladesh’s crowded refugee settlements. Throughout the crisis, Rohingyas have faced unspeakable atrocities that are now being described as ethnic cleansing, and international bodies are preparing to begin judicial processes to investigate the crimes committed against these peoples.

About the Survivors of Atrocity Crimes Care Program

Culturally appropriate mental health care, human rights, disability care, widow and orphan support services, income generation, other supportive care, and structural safe spaces are core program features. Programs are integrated to optimize care. Mental health programs take into account psychological trauma, attempts to de-stigmatize services, develop community peer counselors, refer to advanced levels of care, and specialize in situations of re-traumatization. Peer counselors have been set up to address re-traumatization, which can occur during survivor participation in investigations during the justice process.

This program hopes to assist organizations as conflicts are occurring worldwide and there is an increasing number of victims of atrocity crimes. The program strives to address the gap of comprehensive service delivery models that meet the needs of populations who have faced ethnic cleansing and genocide. The care program models apply the HIV treatment and prevention continuum of care and utilize the team members’ experiences with health care delivery, social support, and community education for stigmatized & marginalized individuals at risk for or infected with HIV.

The Wash U Division of Infectious Diseases based program has multiple collaborative partners. One of the program activities is to create and maintain a database of victims of physical/sexual violence in Myanmar and direct specialty services to them such as Disability Assistance, Legal Education and Linkage to Legal Representation, Social Support Services for Widows and Orphans, and integrating Cultural Preservation Activities within mental health and non-mental health therapeutic healing programs.

In The News

Read more about the Survivors of Atrocity Crimes Care Program activities in the news:

Doctors address mental health crisis among Rohingya refugees – The Source

Wash U Doctors Take Mental-Health-Focused Approach To Trauma, Care and Justice Among Refugees – St. Louis Public Radio

Unending Trauma – Outlook Magazine

Dr. Rupa Patel, along with other WashU Faculty Are Aiding in Rohingya Refugee Efforts – WUSTL Infectious Diseases