Torture Journal

Now in its fourth decade of publication, IRCT’s Torture Journal is the world’s leading academic source for peer-reviewed research and debate from the medical and legal frontiers of torture rehabilitation and prevention.

From the archive:

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A complete digital archive of all Torture Journal editions from 1991 is currently being completed. To access editions earlier than 2014 please email BSO@IRCT.org

Begun in 1991, the Journal was originally a newsletter for IRCT members to share best practices on treating torture survivors. Today, through its publication in major databases such as MEDLINE and Scopus, the Journal reaches a global audience of medical and legal professionals, academics and interested members of the public. From studying the physical methods and impacts of torture, the pages between the blue covers have expanded to examine new areas of clinical knowledge about less-known psychological torture, such as sleep deprivation, white rooms, and domestic violence. Evolving specialisations come together in the Journal’s thematic issues, including gender, enforced disappearance, and documenting torture in children.

IRCT ensures the Journal remains free to all readers thanks to funding from the Danish Foreign Ministry and generous support from member centres, such as STARTTS and OSSTT in Australia.

Torture Journal:

Editor’s Pick

Meet Torture Journal’s Editor in Chief Pau Perez-Sales as he explains how the Journal helped contribute to the recognition of a new form of indirect torture; the effect of enforced disappearance – State kidnapping – on the relatives and loved ones left behind.

Torture Journal:

New Knowledge

The IRCT is rooted in the scientific study of torture to produce forensic evidence. Hear from Professor Nora Sveaass, clinical psychologist and former member of UN Committee Against Torture on how Torture Journal’s medico-legal knowledge is used to protect human rights.

Torture Journal:

Expanding Frontiers

How do we find new answers to old problems? Ask different thinkers. IRCT’s Torture Journal collaborates with academics from the Global South. Hear from Abosede Omowumi Babatunde, Senior Lecturer, University of Ilorin, Nigeria on her research and paper on The Efficacy of Traditional Practices in Rehabilitating Victims of Torture in Nigeria.

“Although it is developed on a medical platform, it can never be accused of medicalising these issues or narrowing them down to health issues alone […] It is not only descriptive or analytic with respect to these topics. Even though it’s a strongly based research journal, it communicates a very strong message related to the need to fight, the need to document and the need to act.”

Nora Sveaass, Professor Emeritus at the University of Oslo and a former member of the UN Committee Against Torture.
IRCT’s Global Standards on Rehabilitation

Standard 13: Share Knowledge

‘Disseminate information about torture and its effects to professionals in healthcare and other relevant fields who may come into contact with torture victims. Information should include available and possible approaches to rehabilitation, the specific needs of torture victims (including early identification, assessment, and timely referrals), trauma-informed care, documentation procedures according to the Istanbul Protocol, and regarding the value of providing rehabilitation to facilitate life after torture. Where security considerations allow, the dissemination of this information should be considered a critical moral and social responsibility for centres assisting victims of torture.’

Want to meet more of the people behind the life and work of the Torture Journal?  To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the IRCT produced a 30-minute documentary film taking viewers on a journey through the evolution of the Journal with some of its key characters. 

Torture Journal: A Year in Numbers

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