UN report praises IRCT members and highlights the challenges facing rehabilitation of torture victims16-09-2010
In his latest report to the United Nations General Assembly, The Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak stresses the importance of rehabilitation and highlights some of the challenges that rehabilitation centres around the world face in providing such a crucial service.
"Overwhelmingly, the experience of torture requires long-term psychological support, which may include individual or group counselling, occupational therapy, social rehabilitation and other forms of support. Rehabilitation centres assist their clients for years on their long journey back into their lives," writes Nowak.
"Most existing torture rehabilitation centres are private, founded by physicians, psychologists, family members of victims and other concerned individuals or groups in response to the failure of Governments to ensure that victims of torture receive the necessary treatment. Torture rehabilitation centres fill a gap and provide highly specialized medical and psychosocial care to those in need. Member organizations of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, the umbrella organization of 146 rehabilitation centres worldwide, provided treatment to more than 100,000 survivors of torture and trauma in 2009 alone."
“Throughout his tenure of the mandate, the Special Rapporteur has been impressed by the courageous, dedicated and professional work undertaken by rehabilitation centres around the world. In all the centres he visited during his fact-finding missions, he was impressed that staff members had been working extremely hard and often at considerable personal sacrifice.”
“Rehabilitation centres for the victims of torture often operate in an environment characterized by insecurity and violence. Their engagement with victims of torture, the provision of medical services and particularly the documentation of torture cases make them frequent targets of those who inflicted the suffering. As a consequence, physicians, forensic experts, psychologists, administrative staff and volunteers all work under considerable personal risk and are often confronted with harassment, threats, assault or even killings.”
"Furthermore, the recent global financial crisis has had a tangible impact on many centres, forcing them to cut back existing services because funding from private foundations has decreased."
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