We support member centres in implementing their domestic advocacy efforts, building external pressure to facilitate state compliance and creating a policy and funding environment favourable to the work of rehabilitation centres.

We lobby and advocate on key legislative and policy processes at the UN, the EU and other regional mechanisms. We also have close working relationships with relevant NGOs in the human rights field and reach out to health professional organisations and other key stakeholders to help ensure that torture victims receive the holistic rehabilitation support they have a right to access.

“I feel a little bit better after I talk. The problems are always there but it is better when you talk about them with someone.”

- Torture survivor

Because IRCT member centres know the experiences and needs of their clients, they are in a strong position to identify priorities for change and influence inform the legislation and policies in their specific national context. The IRCT supports member centres in their efforts, by joining their interventions, providing strategic guidance, technical advice and practical support with their national initiatives.

Tortura y el Derecho a la Rehabilitación en Colombia

Este informe analiza la situación de tortura y los malos tratos en Colombia y los principales problemas que encuentran los sobrevivientes de tortura. Escrito por el Centro de Atención Psicosocial (CAPS) y el Acompañamiento Psicosocial y Atención en Salud Mental a Víctimas de la Violencia Político (Corporación AVRE) junto con el IRCT, el informe señala que, aunque el gobierno ha concluido el proceso de paz con el FARC, la tortura sigue siendo una realidad en muchas partes del país. En gran parte como consecuencia de la polarización social y política, las violaciones de derechos humanos por parte de diferentes actores, paramilitares, Fuerza Pública, FARC, ELN, entre otros, sigue siendo un acto recurrente en la realidad colombiana, especialmente contra comunidades en situación de vulnerabilidad como indígenas, campesinos, afrodescendientes, mujeres, niños, defensores y activistas de derechos humanos.

Tortura y el Derecho a la Rehabilitación en Colombia

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Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Germany

This report looks at the situation of torture and ill-treatment and the right to rehabilitation in Germany. Written jointly by the IRCT Secretariat and IRCT Member Centre, Zentrum Uberleben (bzfo), the aim is to examine the major problems victims of torture face in Germany and the obstacles to guaranteeing the right to rehabilitation. The report finds that due to poor reception facilities for asylum seekers and restrictions to healthcare, torture victims do not get the treatment and care they are entitled to.

Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Germany

 

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Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Kenya

This report looks at the situation of torture and ill-treatment and the right to rehabilitation in Kenya. Written jointly by the IRCT Secretariat and IRCT Member Centres CAT Kenya, IMLU and MATESO, the aim of the report is to examine the face of torture and the major problems that victims of torture face in Kenya. The report finds that torture happens particularly in the context of political violence including crackdowns on dissidents and protesters and during security and law enforcement operations. Despite the establishment of the Victims Protection Act in 2014, which includes provisions for rehabilitation and reparations, the programmes have not yet been operationalised.

Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Kenya

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Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Bolivia

This report (available in English and Spanish) looks at the situation of torture and ill-treatment and the right to rehabilitation in Bolivia. Written jointly by the IRCT Secretariat and IRCT Member Centre, ITEI, the aim is to examine the face of torture and the major problems that victims of torture face in Bolivia. The report finds that torture is endemic in the country and is spurred on by a culture of impunity from authorities. In particular, members of the armed forces, police and even judiciary use torture as a mechanism of investigation. Torture disproportionately affects political dissidents, members of trade unions, marginalised populations and indigenous groups.

Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Bolivia (EN)

Tortura y el Derecho a la Rehabilitación en Bolivia (ES)

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Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Nigeria

This report looks at the situation of torture and ill-treatment and the right to rehabilitation in Nigeria. Written jointly by the IRCT Secretariat and IRCT Member Centre, PRAWA, the aim is to examine the scope of torture and the major problems that victims of torture face in Nigeria. The report finds that torture is perpetrated in national security and law enforcement contexts, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict with Boko Haram in the northern regions of the country. Detainees and others who have been deprived of their liberty are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to be tortured.

 

Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Nigeria

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Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in the Philippines

This report looks at the situation of torture and ill-treatment and the right to rehabilitation in the Philippines. Written jointly by the IRCT Secretariat and IRCT Member Centres MAG and Balay, the aim is to examine the scope of torture and the major problems victims of torture face in the Philippines. The report finds that despite the enactment of legal reforms over the past decades, perpetrators of torture do not get arrested or prosecuted for their crimes. This is complicated by the devolved systems of government in the Philippines, which reflect the problems with the lack of implementation of different aspects of the laws concerning torture and redress.

 

 Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in the Philippines

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Tortura y el Derecho a la Rehabilitación en Perú

Este informe analiza la situación de tortura y los malos tratos en Perú y los principales problemas que encuentran los sobrevivientes de tortura. Escrito por el Centro de Atención Psicosocial (CAPS Perú) junto con el IRCT, el informe afirma que el Estado peruano no realiza acciones suficientes para prevenirla y sancionar la tortura y los malos tratos, sin dar plena garantía de acceso a la justicia a las víctimas y a la debida reparación en su dimensión integral. Además, el Estado peruano no cuenta con lineamientos especializados para la rehabilitación de la persona torturada.

Tortura y el Derecho a la Rehabilitación en Perú

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We engage strategically with selected mechanisms at regional or sub-regional levels to promote the creation of appropriate standards in support of torture victims and effective monitoring of these based on clear indicators. We carry out targeted interventions, to under the guidance of member centres in the region, to ensure that global standards and experience inform regional action.

IRCT position papers on the 2016 proposed reform of the Common European Asylum System

The IRCT strongly advocates for asylum procedures and reception conditions that respect and address the specific needs of torture victims. This series of position papers outlines the IRCT's position on the recent proposed reform of the Common European Asylum System. The papers present the IRCT's position on and suggested amendments for the 2016 proposed reform of the Dublin System, Asylum Procedures Regulation and the recast Reception Conditions Directive, focussing specifically on the impact on victims of torture.

The Dublin System

IRCT position paper on the European Commission's proposal for the reform of the Dublin System (May 2016)

The Asylum Procedures Regulation

IRCT position paper on the Proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation (July 2016)

The Reception Conditions Directive

IRCT position paper on the Proposal for a recast Reception Conditions Directive (July 2016)

 

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Promoting the right to rehabilitation in the ACHPR

IRCT supports our members in Africa to influence legislation and policy in relation to the right to rehabilitation for torture victims at the African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and other regional and sub-regional mechanisms. This includes interventions during the African Commission’s ordinary sessions, and direct collaboration with the Committee on the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA). We are currently working with the regional membership and other stakeholders on promoting the adoption of a strong General Comment on redress for victims of torture.

IRCT publication on the Right to Rehabilitation in Africa: a regional overview (English/French)

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Falling Through the Cracks: Asylum Procedures and Reception Conditions for Torture Victims in the European Union

This report looks at the lack of support for torture victims in asylum procedures and reception facilities in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It examines implementation of the EU Asylum Procedures Directive and the EU Reception Conditions Directive in selected Member States. It details the experience of nine IRCT torture rehabilitation member centres and how their countries receive, process and support torture victims seeking asylum.

Despite clear legal obligations in the EU, torture victims are not identified among the broader refugee population, leading to a series of negative consequences such as lack of access to rehabilitation services, flawed consideration of their asylum claims, the use of fast-track procedures and placement in immigration detention. This denies torture victims their rights to rehabilitation and international protection and exposes them to a further deterioration of their physical and mental health situation.

Falling Through the Cracks: Asylum Procedures and Reception Conditions for Torture Victims in the European Union

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We implement a full programme of support to our members to effectively engage with UN human rights monitoring mechanisms including the Committee against Torture, the Subcommittee in Prevention of Torture and the Universal Periodic Review. Through this and targeted technical interventions we seek to ensure that these mechanisms are as effective as possible in enhancing national action in support of torture victims.

We also engage with the various organs of the UN to ensure commitment at the highest political level and strengthen the conceptual framework of the absolute prohibition of torture and to ensure that states ratify and implement the human rights instruments that ensure rehabilitation for torture victims.

Committee against Torture issues findings on Ireland

On 11 August 2017, the UN Committee against Torture issued recommendations on torture and ill-treatment in Ireland. The recommendations provide clear guidance to the Irish Government to implement a formalised vulnerability screening and ensure that all refugees who have been tortured have access to specialised rehabilitation services that are accessible country-wide.

Concluding Observations

Alternative report by IRCT member Spirasi

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Committee against Torture recommendations to Lebanon

On 11 May 2017, the UN Committee against Torture issued recommendations on torture and ill-treatment in Lebanon. The recommendations provide a framework of concrete action to eradicate torture in Lebanon and ensure full rehabilitation for victims and their families and communities.

Concluding Observations

Alternative report by IRCT member Restart

Video from the hearing:1st session & 2nd session

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New CAT General Comment on Article 3

In 2016, the UN Committee against Torture initiated a process of updating its General Comment on Article 3 of the Convention against Torture. The General Comment presents the Committee's view on how States should protect persons from being sent to another country where they will be at risk of torture and ill-treatment. In February 2017, the Committee issued its first draft for public consultation.

The IRCT's position paper

Falling Through the Cracks: Asylum Procedures and Reception Conditions for Torture Victims in the European Union

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Uganda: Human Rights Council recommendations

On 18 November 2016, the UN Human Rights Council issued recommendations on torture and ill-treatment in Uganda through its Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) and the IRCT lobbied States in Kampala and Geneva to make recommendations on ACTV's priority issues, which include implementation of the national anti torture law to provide rehabilitation and effective investigations of torture allegations and adoption of the OPCAT. The recommendations addressed the majority of our priority issues and we are now working on ensuring that the Ugandan Government implements these obligations.

Relevant documents:

ACTV briefing note on torture in Uganda

UPR recommendations to Uganda

 

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