News 04 Dec 2017
IRCT Council outlines enhanced roadmap for its mission to support life after torture

The Council of the IRCT reviewed and refined its 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, shaping the work of the movement for the period 2018-2020, while welcoming 12 new centres to the now 160-member strong network.

IRCT Council outlines enhanced roadmap for its mission to support life after torture

Over the course of two days, the IRCT’s Council, consisting of 26 member centres and three independent experts, discussed the current priorities of the torture rehabilitation movement and unanimously adopted the enhanced strategy. “Survivors are at the heart of this strategy. Everything we do must be to support life after torture,” said Jorge Aroche, President of the IRCT. “This movement comes together to take collective action to ensure the victim’s right to rehabilitation. The enhanced strategy recognises this and further ensures that our work is effective and implemented in a way that is consistent with human rights values and the highest ethical standards.” The IRCT is further determined to make the torture rehabilitation sector financially sustainable and able to transmit high quality knowledge on rehabilitation while ensuring that the movement is well governed.

The Council reaffirmed the strong commitment to fighting for a world without torture and demanded that States comply with obligations to prevent and prosecute torture, provide reparations to victims, and increase funding to make the right to rehabilitation a reality.

 To achieve those outcomes, the enhanced strategy aims to:

  • lead the work on global standards on rehabilitation and monitoring and evaluation systems including increasing the capacity of the movement to collect and analyse data and other forms of evidence;
  • launch a global rehabilitation knowledge platform that connects members in relation to knowledge and tools;
  • secure the long-term viability of the rehabilitation sector by mapping, developing and sharing sustainable business models;
  • maintain a well-run and well-structured organisation focusing on reviewing governance structures and improving communication of results.

The Council also identified priority areas within the roadmap provided by the enhanced strategy. These areas include, among others, (i) the establishment of a draft research agenda for the torture rehabilitation sector, (ii) the development of IRCT’s policy on gender and torture rehabilitation and (iii) the creation of sector-wide standards. Additionally, the Council initiated decision-making processes toward the realisation of the VI General Assembly and XI Scientific Symposium, which will be held in early 2020.

As Sana Hamzeh, Vice-President of the IRCT, says: “The enhanced strategy is a clear expression of the membership’s will. I am really pleased that we have gathered here to reaffirm the democratic nature of our movement and I am confident that the enhanced strategy will unleash the full potential of torture rehabilitation centres around the world.”

Council Session November 2017

During this meetingThe President of the IRCT, Jorge Aroche, also welcomed  12 new torture rehabilitation centres to the IRCT membership:

  • Association Justice and Mercy, Lebanon
  • Bilingual Assistance Services, USA
  • Asociacion Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Accion Psicosocial ECAP, Guatemala
  • Justice Centre HK, Hong Kong
  • Libertas, USA
  • Nebras, Tunisia
  • Refugees Trauma Recovery, Red Cross, New Zealand
  • Red Cross Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Room to Heal, UK
  • Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International, USA
  • Tree of Life, Zimbabwe
  • Western New York Center for Survivors of Torture, USA

The meeting was closed on Friday 1 December with the presence of IRCT Founder Inge Genefke, who delivered a message of solidarity and respect that evoked the work of the many persons who, over the last four decades, have built the global rehabilitation movement.

For more information

Background

As a membership organisation, the IRCT is governed by its members. When it comes to developing the organisation’s strategic plan, the IRCT follows a process of deliberation and decision-making via the IRCT Council, which consists of 26 representatives from the membership and three independent experts. The IRCT Council is elected by the IRCT membership through the General Assembly. The Secretary-General is accountable to the IRCT Executive Committee, which consists of eight members of the Council (one from each region) and one independent expert.

 The Executive Committee of the IRCT mandated the Secretariat to evaluate the strategic plan mid-way through its implementation. The Secretariat’s internal review took place between July and September 2017. The process was comprised of analyses of previous external reviews and interviews with secretariat staff, donors, and Council members, as well as a complementary survey disseminated to the membership at-large. The internal review highlighted the need to shift the emphasis from a methods-oriented strategy, focussing on advocacy, capacity building, research and governance to a result-oriented strategy, delivering tangible outcomes in the fight against torture. 

IRCT Council Declarations

• Copenhagen Declaration on the Right to Rehabilitation, 2014

• Copenhagen Declaration on Torture and Forced Migration, 2014

• Copenhagen Declaration on Torture and Detention, 2014

IRCT General Assembly Resolutions

 • Mexico Consensus

“The enhanced strategy is a clear expression of the membership’s will. I am really pleased that we have gathered here to reaffirm the democratic nature of our movement and I am confident that the enhanced strategy will unleash the full potential of torture rehabilitation centres around the world.”

Sana Hamzeh, IRCT Vice-President

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