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Global health services for torture victims



The two-year project “Advanced professionalization through training in key areas of health services for torture victims” lasted from June 2007 to September 2009. It has aimed in part to find the common denominators in torture treatment approaches and to capacitate the participating rehabilitation centres in providing advanced and high quality treatment to torture survivors. Bringing together five rehabilitation centres working in different regions and contexts – South Africa, Honduras, Mexico, Egypt and Gaza - the project has provided local and regional training in psychotherapy and other treatment methods, facilitated knowledge exchange between IRCT centres, implemented psychotherapeutic and physiotherapeutic treatment and evaluated the interventions given.


The project activities have contributed to an increased access of torture survivors to high quality treatment in the five partner countries as well as across the IRCT network of rehabilitation centres. Furthermore, it has heightened awareness of the rights and needs of torture survivors to treatment and rehabilitation. At the same time, the project has also highlighted the challenges facing those centres and clinics trying to provide torture survivors with rehabilitation services. They include: difficult access of clinicians to torture survivors, because of geographical distance, lack of access to prisons as well as the “fear factor” causing survivors to discontinue their treatment for fear of further reprisals from their torturers and/or re-exposure to threats and trauma. Thus, in order for treatment of torture survivors to have a lasting impact, it takes dedicated health and other professionals to take care of their immediate needs, but also a political environment with no tolerance towards impunity.



This site is run by the IRCT - International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims.


This project has been partially funded by the European Union.

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