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“Human Rights and Psychology”

A Special Issue of European Psychologist

Published Online:

Human rights are of crucial importance to everyone in the world, psychologists included, and the recognition and protection of human rights has been a recurrent issue on the agenda of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA). In order to develop a Human Rights and Psychology policy, EFPA established a task force in 2013 and a permanent board 2 years later. The policy paper Psychology Matters in Human RightsHuman Rights Matter in Psychology was accepted by the General Assembly of EFPA in July 2015.

The primary purpose of the Human Rights and Psychology Board is to support EFPA and its member associations to do what is within their scope and capabilities to:

  • raise awareness of human rights and (risks of) human rights violations,
  • clarify and develop the mutual relevance of psychology and human rights,
  • promote human rights and prevent human rights violations,
  • alleviate the effects of human rights violations, and
  • ensure accountability and proper action for the promotion and protection of human rights.

The special issue Human Rights and Psychology is anchored within these ambitions and aims to outline contemporary thinking on the relationship between human rights and psychology, both in terms of academic and research fields and also in the areas of psychological practice and civil society activism. It will address the central role of psychology in protecting and promoting human rights.

We hope to present a special issue that challenges and inspires individual psychologists, work places, universities, and psychologists’ associations to develop a human-rights-based and -oriented practice and policy.

We are interested in theoretical or review papers that explore, discuss, and concretize the above aim and ambition, in particular papers that contribute to:

  1. 1)
    Develop our understanding of how the human rights framework can inform psychology as a discipline and practice.
  2. 2)
    Provide examples of how psychology, as an academic discipline, profession, and professional associations can contribute to the human rights agenda.
  3. 3)
    Raise awareness of historical and ongoing human rights violations in the name of psychology and also of the positive initiatives psychologists have taken.
  4. 4)
    Explore the relationship between ethics and human rights in psychology and to provide direction for future integration.
  5. 5)
    Describe how human rights education and awareness can be integrated in the professional training of psychologists.

Cross-cutting topics are: psychologists’ social responsibility and social inclusion/exclusion.

Deadlines and Contact Details

Questions regarding the special issue should be directed to the special issue editors:

Kerstin Söderström,

Polli Hagenaars,

Tony Wainwright,

Ulrich Wagner,

  • Deadline for submission of full papers is April 30, 2018

The journal seeks to maintain a short turnaround time, with the final version of the accepted papers being due by

  • October 30, 2018.

Manuscript Preparation and Submission

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the journal’s author guidelines available on the journal’s website at

All manuscripts should be submitted via the online submission system:

Papers acceptable for publication that cannot be published in this special issue may be considered for publication in a regular issue of European Psychologist, unless authors explicitly decline this option.