18 Feb 2019
IRCT Council to advance standards of service for torture victims

The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) will hold its 2019 annual meeting in Budapest on 21 and 22 February 2019, making it the second time that the IRCT holds a Council Meeting in Hungary.

IRCT Council to advance standards of service for torture victims

The Council is composed of 29 members coming from as many countries and every region of the world. They are recognized as the leaders of the torture rehabilitation movement that works every day to ensure that the survivors of torture have access to adequate health-based rehabilitation. The Council meetings play a vital role in strengthening and uniting the global rehabilitation movement.

The IRCT represents the unified voice of the rehabilitation movement, and its objective is to ensure that every torture victim, in every corner of the world, has the right to adequate rehabilitation to rebuild their lives. Torture is absolutely prohibited under international law, and its victims experience terrible pain and suffering, often for years after the acts of torture. The 161 IRCT member centres, located in some 80 countries, work every day to provide care for them; and it is estimated that 100.000 persons benefit annually from the rehabilitation work of the IRCT members.

Jorge Aroche, President of the IRCT cited some of the challenges of the movement today: “unfortunately, all over the world we are witnessing a backlash against human rights and human rights defenders, including our colleagues who work providing rehabilitation all over the world, as well as an increased in xenophobic discourse.” Remarking on the importance of holding this meeting in Hungary, he added: “Some of that discourse has been on the rise in Hungary, and by being here we want to extend our solidarity and support to our colleagues and the populations that they hope to serve: refugees and asylum-seekers, many of whom are survivors of torture or ill treatment, and who are entitled to dignity and security”.

As a network of more than 160 torture rehabilitation centres in over 70 countries, the IRCT is the world’s largest membership-based civil society organisation specialised in the field of torture rehabilitation, and its members are recognized as authorities in what forms of treatment and approaches are effective to improve the quality of life of torture victims. The meeting is hosted by IRCT’s Hungarian member, the Cordelia Foundation, whose Director Lilla Hardí said our centre has existed for a long time and we are extremely proud to have helped build this strong and principled global rehabilitation movement. In all corners of the world, rehabilitation providers, who are human rights defenders, face terribly difficult challenges to do their work. I am so thrilled to have them all in our home so that we can discuss how we can do our job better, for the benefit of survivors of torture everywhere.”

For more information on IRCT please contact Gitte Sørensen at gs@irct.org (in English) or at Cordelia contact cordelia@cordelia.hu (in Hungarian).

Budapest and Copenhagen, 18 February 2019

"In all corners of the world, rehabilitation providers, who are human rights defenders, face terribly difficult challenges to do their work. I am so thrilled to have them all in our home so that we can discuss how we can do our job better, for the benefit of survivors of torture everywhere"

-Dr. Lilla Hardi, Cordelia Foundation

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