The ATD has been evolving over two decades.
Phase one began in late 1999, when the IRCT launched its Global Torture Victims Information System (GTIS). Phase two began in 2013, with the EU-funded Data in the Fight Against Impunity (DFI) project, an effort to establish standardised clinical record-keeping system in 33 member centres. The result was the Anti-Torture Database (ATD). The subsequent Global Anti-Torture Evidence (GATE) project, phase three, expanded the ATD to a further 10 centres and sought to use the data collected in a range of strategic advocacy initiatives.
Phase four sees the ATD aligning with the Danish government’s Tech for Democracy initiative, an effort to make digital solutions work for human rights outcomes in a world of increasing autocracy and disinformation. A grant from Globalt Fokus, the coordinating body for Danish NGOs, has allowed IRCT to upgrade the ATD to allow installation and synchronisation across multiple devices, while personal data of survivors remains encrypted, and so that centres can customise the data points they collect to make it more context specific.