Last month, five IRCT member centres came together to spearhead the expansion of the movement’s work on collecting data on torture, by developing a training agenda on data security and responsible data management, establishing a common framework for measuring wellbeing, and creating guidelines on gender-sensitive rehabilitation.
Under the auspices of the Global Anti-Torture Evidence (GATE) Project, the five IRCT members gathered to decide on a shared approach to collecting and using data from the IRCT’s Anti-Torture Database with other rehabilitation centres from around the world.
The Anti-Torture Database is a clinical record-keeping system that was developed by the IRCT to help rehabilitation centres capture, store and analyse data in a standardised manner. This data can then be used as a robust evidence base to advocate for the rights of torture survivors. The Anti-Torture Database is particularly unique as it gives centres the ability to make individual torture experiences count in a quantifiable manner and which can then be compared across centres, countries and regions of the world.
“It was very important that we came together to agree on a way forward to expand the use of the Database. The more centres that are using this Database and are collecting data in a uniform way, the stronger our collective voice becomes in the global fight against torture,” said Suraj Koirala, Executive Manager at Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Nepal.
Over the course of five days, the member centres received in-depth training on important matters relating to the movement’s work on data, including data collection, handling, storage and use, as well as how to better protect themselves from potential digital threats. The five members will share the experiences and knowledge from the workshop with a further ten IRCT members in five different regions.
“Survivors remain at the heart of everything we do. Our goal is always to support life after torture, and we do not forget that behind all the numbers lie millions of individual stories and voices that inspire us every day,” said Andres Gautier, Psychotherapist at ITEI.
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The IRCT has partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to carry out a two-year project – known as the GATE Project – to collect and systemize data related to torture and torture victims. The project aims to increase the understanding of torture through the data collected and to use the evidence to advocate for change. The project was launched after the completion of the Data in the Fight Against Impunity (DFI) project, funded by the European Commission from 2014 to 2017. By the end of 2017, the DFI project had been successfully implemented in 33 torture rehabilitation centres in 28 countries across the world. The GATE Project will continue this work by strengthening data collection practices, improving and rolling the Database out to ten more centres.
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