Global Impact Data

Now in its fifth year, IRCT’s Global Impact Data is a survey which asks all members to give numerical answers to a dozen questions about their centres and clients. What have we learned?

We know IRCT member centres around the world now treat over 70,000 survivors of torture each year. That’s a huge underestimate of the actual number of torture survivors worldwide. But the fact is, nobody knows the true figure.

Our survivors are roughly evenly split between male and female.

One in six survivors report they have experienced sexual or gender-based violence. This figure is likely a huge underestimate, as deep-rooted cultural taboos and societal stigmas surrounding sexual torture may deter survivors from reporting such crimes due to fear of retaliation, shame, or ostracisation.

Just under three percent of survivors self-identify as LGBTI+, also likely to be an underestimate but roughly consistent with best estimates of the global proportion of persons who are LGBTI+.

Poverty is the leading risk factor for torture, with an average of 47% of survivors treated by IRCT’s members also living in poverty, according to the standard in their nation. This compares to a global average of roughly 20% living below the internationally recognised medium poverty line of $3.20 per day, meaning the poor are more than twice as likely to be tortured.

Legal support to survivors from IRCT members rose to 17,743 in 2023, from an average of 12,000 per year the past four years.

61 members reported empowering survivors by having them in decision-making roles such as managerial roles, advisory boards, hiring panels, and executive committees.