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Other IRCT key publications


Falling Through the Cracks: Asylum Procedures and Reception Conditions for Torture Victims in the European Union


The report examines the implementation of the EU Asylum Procedures Directive and the EU Reception Conditions Directive in selected Member States. It details the experience of nine IRCT torture rehabilitation member centres and how their countries receive, process and support torture victims seeking asylum.


Download the report in English.





Establishing and Operating Rehabilitation Centres for Victims of Torture and Organised Violence in a Libyan Context


The manual provides guidelines on organisational and therapeutic procedures applicable to Libya, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and beyond. Written in Arabic, the manual is made up of ten chapters which include guidance on capacity development, developing protocols for treating torture victims, emergency management and functional referral systems and monitoring and evaluation. To give non-Arabic readers an overview of the various aspects covered, there is a summary of each chapter in English at the end of the manual.


Download the manual in Arabic.




The Great Lakes Report: Providing holistic and community-based rehabilitation to victims of torture in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda


The Great Lakes Region of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda has been scarred by conflict. However, From 2011 to 2015 six rehabilitation centres involved in the Great Lakes Project worked together to empower victims of torture to overcome the trauma of their past and become actively involved in their communities once more. The report highlights the stories of torture victims and the care provided by the centres through four key approaches: The medical referral system, restoring dignity through livelihoods, supporting victims in the fight against impunity and changing lives through community-based social counselling.

Download the report in English or French




In pursuit of justice: The importance of psychosocial support for torture victims participating in legal proceedings


For many victims, seeing the perpetrator brought to justice and receiving compensation for the harm suffered is an essential step in their rehabilitation. However, seeking justice can often be a traumatising experience for a survivor of torture, or seen as a mere waste of time. Appropriate psychosocial support for torture victims in their pursuit of justice and reparation can change that.


Download the report in English





Peer Support Project: Good Practices Report


Staff of organisations working with survivors of extreme trauma experience high levels of stress and long-term stress of this nature can have serious consequences for the mental health, health and general well-being of staff. It also affects the organisation itself. Chronic staff stress leads to higher turnover, higher absenteeism, lower morale and lower work efficiency and effectiveness. It is therefore essential that centres for the rehabilitation of victims of torture create a framework that provides a sustainable system of support to their employees and volunteers.


Download the report in English





Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors: Resource Kit for Service Providers


This resource kit can be used by a wide range of professionals working with torture survivors in contexts around the world. It captures the results of exchanges and workshops held to address a range of rehabilitation issues and we hope it provides a user-friendly overview of the main concepts and practices in torture rehabilitation.


Download the report in English






Recognising Victims of Torture in National Asylum Procedures: A comparative overview of early identification of victims and their access to medico-legal reports in asylum-receiving countries


This report is a comparative overview on the early identification of victims of torture and the use and acceptance of medico-legal reports as evidence in asylum proceedings in regions where these issues are particularly relevant to the IRCT. The report analyses the responses from centres in 18 countries that participated in a survey. From these findings, we make a number of recommendations to stakeholders. In doing so, we hope to encourage them to address the gaps and shortfalls in the protection offered to victims of torture in national asylum procedures.


Download the report in English



Conference Report: The Right to Rehabilitation for Torture Victims


Victims of torture have a right to rehabilitation. But how can we ensure that this right becomes a reality in which victims enjoy access to appropriate, holistic rehabilitation services that are funded through states? This was the major question addressed at the scientific conference The Right to Rehabilitation, co-organised by the IRCT and Restart Center. The experiences, best practices, lessons learned and priority pathways forward are available in the conference report.


Download the report in English



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Engaging with European Union foreign policy on the ground: An IRCT guide


This guide aims to inform IRCT members of the structure and components of the human rights dimension of EU foreign policy, with an emphasis on the mechanisms accessible to them on the ground in their countries. Its purpose is to encourage members to engage in closer cooperation and information sharing with EU representatives to increase the visibility of issues relating to torture as well as their inclusion in EU policy towards third countries, consequently promoting domestic change.


Download the report in English, Spanish or Russian



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Engaging with State reviews in the UN Committee Against Torture: A practical guide


United Nations treaty bodies such as the Committee against Torture, in particular its State review procedure, can provide useful support to existing domestic advocacy initiatives by bringing international attention and legitimacy to issues already being advanced domestically. It is our hope that this guide will help empower human rights advocates at the local level to effectively use the Committee’s State review process to promote domestic change.


Download the report in English



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Engaging with UN Human Rights Mechanisms: An Introduction


Engagement with UN and other international and regional human rights mechanisms can be a powerful tool for promoting domestic change, if it is done strategically – on the right issue, at the right time and in the right way. However, it is important to carefully consider if and how to engage in order to ensure that an organisation’s limited resources are spent on generating as much domestic change as possible.


Download the report in English, Spanish or French




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Getting the evidence: Countering torture through medico-legal documentation


Torture can be proved through the use of documentation. However, often the required forensic expertise is not available to produce medico-legal reports of sufficient quality or the reports are not taken into account in legal proceedings due to flawed regulations or practice. For this reason, the IRCT works to promote the value and use of medical documentation of torture according to the international standards contained in the Istanbul Protocol.


Download the report in English



 Click to download the English version of the Operational Manual

Working with the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture:
A practical guide for NGOs engaging with the process of SPT country visits 


Download as PDF file in English, Spanish or French









 Click to download the English version of the Operational Manual

A Practical Guide to the UPR: How NGOs can influence the Universal Periodic Review process 


Download as PDF file in English, Spanish or French










 Click to download the English version of the Operational Manual

Forensic Examination Missions by Medical Teams Investigating and Documenting Alleged Cases of Torture: Operational Manual


Download as PDF file in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese or open publication on ISSUU









 Click to download

Manual for Good Practice and Management in Trauma Centres: Structural Aspects of Work Related Stress - Care for Caregivers

Download as a PDF file in English, Spanish, Arabic or Turkish.









 Click to download the English version of the Operational Manual


The IRCT strategy framework


The IRCT strategy framework for the period 2010-2014 is the result of a consultative process with our membership of torture rehabilitation centres worldwide. It thus represents the views, priorities and knowledge of thousands of the world’s most experienced torture rehabilitation professionals.


Open publication on ISSUU or as a PDF file.







Practical guide to the Istanbul Protocol

- for medical doctors: Medical Physical Examination of Alleged Torture Victims (PDF, 519kb)

- for psychologists: Psychological Evaluation of Torture Allegations (PDF, 471kb)

- for lawyers: Action Against Torture (PDF, 627kb)


Una guía práctica del Protocolo de Estambul

- para médicos: Examen Físico Médico de Víctimas de Tortura Alegadas (PDF, 534kb)

- para psicólogos: La Evaluación Psicólogica de Alegaciones de Tortura (PDF, 493kb)

- para abogados: Acción Contra la Tortura (PDF, 673kb)


Guide pratique du Protocole d’Istanbul

- à l’intention des médecins: L'examen Médical Physique des Victimes de Torture Présumées (PDF, 539kb)

- à l’intention des psychologues: L'evaluation Psychologique des Allégations de Torture (PDF, 475kb)

- à l’intention des avocats: Action Contre la Torture (PDF, 684kb)




Click to download the Exchange Programme publication

Exchange Programme -
Global Capacity Building Programme

This publication contains narratives by participants of the Exchange Programme, which has enabled face-to-face, on-site professional trainings and allowed staff from rehabilitation centres to receive constructive feedback on the quality of work they are doing. The Exchange Programme was part of a major initiative, the Global Capacity Building Programme, which was implemented by the IRCT with funding of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Download as a PDF file (500 KB, opens a new window)





Click to download Shedding light on a dark practice

Shedding light on a dark practice
Using the Istanbul Protocol to document torture

A range of health and legal experts from around the world share their knowledge and experiences on documenting and reporting cases of alleged torture. Download as a PDF file (3.7 MB)

To learn more about the Istanbul Protocol, visit






Photobook Renewing lives

Click to download the photobook Renewing lives

A photobook that aims to illustrate the effects of torture on its victims as well as the positive results of the rehabilitation and empowerment of survivors. Published in observance of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which came into force on June 26 1987, and in honour of torture survivors. Download as a PDF file (530 KB) or see also a slide presentation. 





Anniversary book: The struggle that must be won

Click to download anniversary book (4.5 mb)

A book published on the occasion of the IRCT's 20th anniversary, in 2005, tells the history of the organisation through personal tales and testimonies. Written by Fabian af Petersens. 
Download as a PDF file (3.5 MB) or view it online at the virtual publisher ISSUU.






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