Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture.

About  the Torture Journal

The Torture Journal is an international scientific journal that provides an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of original research and systematic reviews by professionals concerned with the biomedical, psychological and social interface of torture and the rehabilitation of its survivors. 

The journal seeks to enhance the understanding and cooperation in the torture field through diverse approaches.  Its focus is not only biomedicine, psychology and rehabilitation, but also epidemiology, social sciences and other disciplines related to torture. The editors also wish to encourage dialogue among experts whose diverse cultures and experiences provide innovative and challenging knowledge to existing practice and theories.

The Torture Journal is indexed in MEDLINE, the world’s largest and most respected database of biomedical literature, which represents an international acknowledgement of the publication’s value as a leading periodic on torture and the examination and treatment of torture sequels.

Read the Torture Journal

Please go to Publications Page  for the latest version of the journal, or to view the archive.

Subscription

A minimum of three issues per year are currently published.   The Torture Journal is open access with all issues made available immediately online.  Back issues from 2004 are also available online and copies of earlier issues are available on request.

The IRCT distributes to a number of recipients free of charge because many face democratic and economic restrictions, or live in countries where torture and human rights violations are prevalent.  If you are able, however, please use the online version to allow much needed costs to go elsewhere.

Please send an email to publications@irct.org specifying whether you wish to receive an email alert or a hard copy of the journal.  If you wish to receive a hard copy, please specify your address and why you wish to subscribe, for example, that you work at an IRCT membership centre or with torture victims.

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Editorial Policy

There is growing awareness of the need to explore optimal remedies to restore the physical, psychological and social well-being of torture victims.  This publication is intended to provide a multidisciplinary forum for the exchange of original research among professionals concerned with the biomedical, psychological and social interface of torture.  The journal seeks to produce state-of-the-art knowledge on methodologies, approaches and disciplines available to provide health-based rehabilitation.  Furthermore, the editors wish to encourage dialogue among experts whose diverse cultures and experiences provide innovative and challenging knowledge to existing practice and theories. 

Selection of manuscripts will, amongst other things, be on the basis of the subject being worthy of investigation, as well as on the suitability of the research methodology and the soundness of the conclusions.  Additionally, priority will be given to articles that provide original knowledge and information, particularly those with comparative and interesting or new perspectives.  Articles categorised as clinical trials, research methodology papers, data based population examinations, critical or explaining case descriptions may in some incidences be preferred.

Manuscripts undergo an initial in-house assessment, at which point some will be rejected as they do not fall within the scope of the Torture journal, for example.  The Torture Journal operates a double-blind peer review process which means that the manuscript, after a successful initial assessment, will be reviewed by two peer reviewers anonymously. The editors of Torture identify reviewers based on registered publication activity within the torture field in general and in the area addressed specifically by the manuscript. The Torture Journal will endeavour to provide succinct, relevant and timely feedback to authors on a manuscript, even when it is rejected.  The editors reserve the right to reject a manuscript at any time up to publication. 

Each issue generally has two to four in-depth original analyses. The journal also contains contributions from other sources, mostly by health professionals or correspondents on development in the field of human rights.

Submissions

The Torture Journal generally requires manuscripts for submission to comply with the guidance set down by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors with respect to biomedical articles. 

Authors should note that:

  • Covering letter: Please include the name, address, telephone and/or fax number, as well as e-mail address, if available, of the corresponding author, and provide any additional information that may be helpful to the editor.
  • Conflict in Interest: If an author is aware of a conflict of interest, or believes there may be one, then this should be stated clearly. Authors of accepted articles will be expected to sign a detailed Conflict of Interest form.
  • Footnotes and references: These should be numbered consecutively as they appear in the article. It is preferred that Endnotes is not used.
  • Literature references: These should comply with the Vancouver Standard. Please see recent back copies of the journal.
  • Abstract: A semi-structured abstract (setting out background, methods, findings and interpretation) is preferred of between 200 and 300 words.
  • Key words: Three to six key words preferably taken from the Terms from the Medical Subject Headings list of Index Medicus.
  • Authors’ contributions and signature: The corresponding author should state that he or she had full access to all the data in the study and has had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication. Authors of articles, clinical trials and research papers must declare their individual contribution by signing a statement, such as, "I declare that I participated in the… (here list the contributions made to the study/examination/trial/article)… and I have seen and approved the final version".
  • Ethics: Subjects of research must remain anonymous and the guidelines following set out clearly, such as, the ethical standards of the responsible institutional or regional committee on human experimentation and/or the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised.
  • Copyright: Authors will be asked to sign a transfer of copyright agreement, which recognises the common interest that both journal and author(s) have in the protection of copyright. We accept that some authors (e.g. government employees in some countries) are unable to transfer copyright. The copyright covers both the Torture Journal and the IRCT web site. The publisher will not put any limitation on the personal freedom of the author to use material contained in the paper in other works which may be published, provided that acknowledgement is made to the original place of publication.
  • Similar work: When submitting a paper, the author should make a statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publication of the same or very similar work.
  • Material submitted elsewhere: It is assumed that the material submitted for publication in the Torture Journalhas not been presented anywhere else for consideration with a view to publication.  Please provide copies of correspondence from other journals and reviewers, if previously submitted elsewhere.
  • Please send manuscripts and accompanying documents to publications@irct.org.

Peer Review Process For Scientific Articles

The Torture Journal operates a double-blinded peer review process. Reviewers are expected to only review an article if it is within their area of expertise and there is no conflict of Interest.

  • Timings: Reviewers should reply within a week regarding whether they can carry out a review and should complete it within four weeks from the receipt of the manuscript.
  • Expected review: Reviewers are expected to give a narrative assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. Whilst the structure of such narrative is largely up to the reviewer, it is useful if brief comments are made on all sections, namely, introduction, methods, results and discussion. Comments can also be made on the presentation of the manuscript, including the language, and the extent and appropriateness of references.  However, a language and citation check are completed in–house before publication.
  • Conflict of interest: Reviewers should avoid reviewing articles where they have ties to activities that could or may be seen to inappropriately influence their judgement, whether or not your judgement is in fact affected. Moreover, the editor may take care that conflicts that can occur for other reasons, such as financial relationships, personal relationships, academic competition and intellectual passion, must be avoided in the peer review process. If a peer reviewer is unsure about whether there is a conflict or not, this should be stated on the manuscript review form. Reviewers may not use knowledge of the work, before its publication, to further their own interests.
  • Confidentiality: Reviewers as well as the editorial staff should respect the authors' right by not publicly discussing the authors' work or appropriating their ideas before the manuscript is published. Manuscripts should be reviewed with due respect for authors' confidentiality. In submitting their manuscripts for review, authors entrust editors with the results of their scientific work and creative efforts. Reviewers also have a right to confidentiality, which must be respected by the editor. Confidentiality may, in special circumstances, be breached if e.g. dishonesty or fraud is suspected.
  • Practicalities of confidentiality: Reviewers are asked not to make copies of the manuscript for their files and are prohibited from sharing it with others, except with the permission of the editor. Reviewers should delete the manuscripts they have reviewed within a reasonable time and at least within one year of reviewing it.  The Torture Journal will endeavour to remind reviewers to delete manuscripts when appropriate.
  • Eventual publication: Reviewers can always contact the Torture Journal regarding the outcome of the article. We try to, where possible, inform peer reviewers of the outcome with respect to the article that they have reviewed.

Appeal

If you are unhappy with a decision about your submission, then you have the right to appeal.  Please submit your complaint in writing and send it to publications@irct.org.  The Torture Journal will ensure that a member of the editorial board who has not been involved in the original decision reviews your complaint, along with the associated relevant documents.  We will endeavour to get back to you within two months.

About

Editor in Chief

The current Editor in Chief is Pau Pérez-Sales MD, PhD.  Pau is a psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience and Director of the SiR[a] Centre in Madrid.  He has a wealth of experience in that he has, amongst other things, founded a centre for medico-legal cases of victims of torture, been Associate Editor of the journal Intervention and acted as an expert at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.  Pau has also worked throughout Central and South America with human rights groups, communities and grass root organisations, as well as published widely on a range of subjects, including trauma, forced disappearance, transcultural psychiatry and psychosocial work.  The editorial team is supported by IRCT staff member Nicola Witcombe who is the Editorial Assistant. 

Editorial Advisory Board

Jens Modvig

Jens Modvig

Jens Modvig has used his background as a medical doctor and PhD in public health in the fight against torture for more than 20 years. He has undertaken numerous visits to institutions where people are deprived of their liberty in his work related to the health component of the Danish National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT. Dr. Modvig is currently Clinical Associate Professor in social medicine and rehabilitation at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, as well as the Director of Health Department, Chief Medical Officer in DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture. He is also a member of the International Forensic Expert Group facilitated by the IRCT. He has been a member of the United National Committee against Torture since 2013 and chair since December 2015.

Marianne C. Kastrup

Marianne C. Kastrup

Marianne C. Kastrup’s many roles have included Medical Director of DIGNITY (then the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT)) and head of the National Competence Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry in Copenhagen. She has been Assistant Professor in psychiatry at the University of Copenhagen and on the Expert Advisory Panel Mental Health of the World Health Organisation. She is a board member of the European Psychiatric Association and chairs the Ethics Committee and Task Force on Refugees and Migrants. She was previously a member of World Psychiatric Association Executive Committee and has chaired the Transcultural Section and Committee to Review Abuse of Psychiatry.

Jim Jaranson

Jim Jaranson

Jim Jaranson has been working for survivors of politically motivated torture from diverse cultures for more than 30 years. He was Director of Medical Services at the Centre for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis and is currently vice-president, board of directors, and chair, Strategic Planning Committee, Survivors of Torture-International in San Diego. He is a member of the US-based National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programme’s Research and Data Committee. He has co-chaired the Section on the Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution of the World Psychiatric Association and was a board member of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture. Dr Jaranson has written and lectured on many aspects of the care of refugee patients and torture survivors and has worked in cross-cultural mental health settings since medical school.

Hans Draminsky Petersen

Hans Draminsky Petersen

Hans Draminsky Petersen is a Danish medical doctor and specialist in medicine and in gastroenterology. Since 1979 he has worked for various NGOs in the anti-torture sector, mainly with medical documentation of torture and epidemiology of torture and other human rights violations. He has participated in the planning and implementation of fact-finding missions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Dr Draminsky Petersen has worked for DIGNITY - the Danish Institute Against Torture, and from 2007 to 2014 he was a member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, acting as vice-chairperson for four of those years. He has also participated in training workshops for national preventive mechanisms.

S. Megan Berthold

S. Megan Berthold

Dr S. Megan Berthold is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut’s School of Social Work. She co-chairs the US-based National Consortium of Torture Treatment Program’s Research and Data Committee. Dr Berthold has worked as a clinician and researcher with diverse refugee and asylum-seeking survivors of torture, war traumas, human trafficking, and other traumas since 1987. She was a clinician and educator in refugee camps in Nepal, the Philippines, and on the Thai-Cambodian border and provided community mental health services to Southeast Asian and other refugee and immigrant groups in the US. She served as a therapist for 13 years and the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Programme for Torture Victims in Los Angeles.

Morris V. Tidball-Binz

Morris V. Tidball-Binz

Morris V. Tidball-Binz is the Head of Forensic Services of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is a medical doctor and specialised in the application of forensic anthropology and medicine to human rights investigations and humanitarian action. He helped found the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and was a researcher for several countries at the Americas Department of Amnesty International's International Secretariat and then became head of the department. He founded and was the first director of the Latin-America Regional Office of Penal Reform International and then directed the International Service for Human Rights. He has carried out forensic case-work applied to human rights investigations and humanitarian action in over 70 countries around the globe.

June Pagaduan-Lopez

June Pagaduan-Lopez

June Pagaduan-Lopez has worked in various fields including human rights protection, psychosocial intervention in humanitarian emergencies, such as natural disasters and armed conflict, peace advocacy, humanistic education in medicine, gender and women’s rights, for more than three decades. As a professor at the University of the Philippines and a psychiatrist, she has helped human rights abuse victims in the Philippines and in other countries and contributed to the development of a more humane approach to medical practice. She is currently the Convenor for the Citizens’ Network for Psychosocial Response, a network of NGOs and volunteers responding to calamities. Dr Lopez is currently serving as an elected member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.

Nora Sveaass

Nora Sveaass

Nora Sveaass is a specialist in clinical psychology, with a focus on clinical work with traumatised refugees. Dr Sveaass has extensively collaborated with professionals across the globe in the area of trauma and human rights violations. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at Oslo University; teaching about human rights and psychology, family therapy and psychological work with refugees and victims of torture, as well as sexual violence against women in conflict. Dr Sveaass has carried out research on transitional justice in Argentina and Peru, and on victim participation in the International Criminal Court in the Hague. She has been a member of the UN Committee against Torture and has been an elected member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture since 2013. She is additionally Chair of the Human Rights committee in the Norwegian Psychological Association, and former leader of the International Society of Health and Human Rights.

José Quiroga

José Quiroga

José Quiroga has worked as a physician for torture survivors for more than 40 years and as Medical Director of Program for Torture Victims (PTV) for 34 years. He has been a Member of the Executive Committee and Advisory Board of the US-based National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs (NCTTP) Research Data Project since 1999. Numerous academic appointments have included posts at the Department of Public Health at the University of California and extensive research and teaching positions, including President of the Scientific Committee for the International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) Conference in 2011 and advisor on a number of University Committees.

Duarte Nuno Vieira

Duarte Nuno Vieira

Duarte Nuno Vieira is Dean and Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Coimbra. He is President of the European Council of Legal Medicine and of the Ibero-American Network of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Science Institutions. He is also Chairman of the Forensic Advisory Board of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and Chairman of the Thematic Federation on Legal and Forensic Medicine of the European Union of Medical Specialists. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Working Group in Forensic Pathology and Forensic Anthropology of the Permanent Committee of INTERPOL on Disaster Victim Identification. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Portuguese National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture. He has carried out forensic case-work applied to human rights investigations, fact-finding missions and training purposes over 40 countries around the globe.

Önder Özkalıpcı

Önder Özkalıpcı

Önder Özkalıpcı is a physician with over 25 years of experience in prevention of torture, rehabilitation of torture survivors and norm-setting on medical documentation of torture. He is a founding member and was medical coordinator of the International Forensic Expert Group Against Torture (IFEG ) between 2009-2011, and was a co-editor of the UN Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Punishment – Istanbul Protocol. Amongst many other things, Dr Özkalıpcı has worked as Medical Director and Senior Forensic Advisor for IRCT, medical coordinator the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey in Istanbul and detention doctor for ICRC in Kashmir-India. He has published extensively and has travelled to over 40 countries for fact-finding and training purposes.

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Please send any queries and submissions to publications@irct.org.

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