Documenting the torture allegations of asylum seekers is crucial to ensuring that their claims are fairly considered. To respond to this issue, in October 2016, IFEG experts facilitated a training by IRCT and its member centre, the Red Cross Treatment Centre?for Persons Affected by War and Torture?in Malmo. Our training sought to improve the way mental health, legal, and medical professionals document torture in Swedish asylum proceedings.
Approximately twenty health professionals and lawyers from six Red Cross Centres across Sweden, as well as a medical doctor from the Swiss Red Cross in St Gallen and a physiotherapist from the Centre for Torture Survivors in Finland, attended the four-day event.
At the end of this training, representatives from the Swedish Red Cross centres decided to form a working group to establish a unified approach to conducting medico-legal evaluations and producing medico-legal reports. The participants also agreed?to continue discussing challenging cases together and to peer review their medico-legal reports in order to learn from each other and to increase the effectiveness of their reports in asylum procedures.
“In Sweden, torture survivors still face many obstacles even after we have presented medico-legal reports. This is often because of a lack of knowledge and awareness of decision-makers on the Istanbul Protocol. That is why it is so crucial for us to get together to think about how we can maximise our impact as a movement in Sweden.”
— Andreas Malm
Psychologist at the Red Cross Treatment Centre in Malmo, Sweden.