21 Jun 2016
Organization of American States adopts resolution calling on implementation of the right to rehabilitation for torture victims

Last week, the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution calling on States to ensure that victims and their family members have prompt access to rehabilitation services. The resolution, which addresses a broad scope of different human rights issues in the Americas, urges States to allocate the necessary resources to rehabilitation and redress to ensure that torture victims can receive justice and begin to rebuild their lives.

Adopted by the OAS General Assembly, the resolution is the first from OAS to outline clear substantive obligations of OAS Member States to implement the right to rehabilitation for all torture victims.

“We are delighted to see this resolution from the OAS. It is a very welcome development towards ensuring that all victims of torture in the Americas have access to vital rehabilitation services. We now have to make sure that the resolution translates into concrete laws, policies and jurisprudence giving effect to the right to rehabilitation at the national level,” said Asger Kjærum, Director of Advocacy of IRCT.

IRCT members in the Americas have for decades been at the forefront of providing holistic rehabilitation services to victims of torture and ill-treatment. They provide crucial medical, psychological, social and legal rehabilitation to torture victims in order to ensure they are fully included and can participate in society. Moving towards national implementation of right to rehabilitation, it is crucial that their experience, expertise and views inform these efforts.

Full text of resolution here.

“Rehabilitation gives torture victims the strength to fight for justice.” - Olga Sadovskaya, Deputy chair of the Committee Against Torture

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