WAIMH Position Paper: Infants’ Rights in Wartime

In 2019, the WAIMH position paper on Infant’s Rights in Wartime, written by Miri Keren, Ghassan Abdallah, and Sam Tyano, was published in the Infant Mental Health Journal. The paper draws our attention to the impact of traumatic consequences upon infants and young children and their families, who are living in war zones across the globe.

The paper recommends greater attention to the psychological needs of infants in war zones. It draws our attention to the needs of infants and their families who are refugees as a result of war. The voice of infants is upheld as unique and necessary to be heard and considered alongside all children and adolescents living in, and with the consequences of war.

On behalf of WAIMH, we are grateful to Miri Keren, Ghassan Abdallah, and Sam Tyano, who wrote this position paper; not as observers, but as witnesses and as healers to infants and their families, during the horrors of war.

We are also grateful to Holly Brophy-Herb (Editor of the IMHJ) and to Wiley, for making this paper available as an open-access paper via the Wiley online library.


“The World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) decided to compose a position paper on infants’ rights in wartime, as there is still a general lack of attention paid to the impact of war-related traumas on infants’ development and psychological health. Though there are numerous areas of violent conflicts around the globe, there have been few published studies that relate specifically to infants. Consequently, humanitarian aid programs tend to overlook infants’ psychological needs and to pay more attention to those of older children. This position paper first reviews the studies identified through a literature search, about the impact of war-related traumas during pregnancy and postnatal periods, then describes the existing recommendations that have been added to the Children Rights Convention and their implications for infant mental health clinicians” (Keren, Abdallah & Tyano, 2019).

Here is the open-source link to: WAIMH Position paper: Infants rights in wartime.


Full Citation

Keren, M., Abdallah, G., & Tyano, S. (2019). WAIMH position paper: Infants’ rights in wartime. Infant mental health journal40(6), 763–767. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21813