Coalition Member Spotlight: International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

In recognition of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, June 26, The Hilton Prize Coalition shines a spotlight on the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).  Advocating for the right to rehabilitation of torture victims everywhere, IRCT’s initiatives help victims rebuild their lives after torture and provide a system of support for survivors.

Established in 1985 in response to the constant use of torture by both states and non-state actors around the world, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) vocalizes the rights of hundreds of thousands of torture victims. IRCT was awarded the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2003 for their commitment to provide quality rehabilitation services that include medical, psychological, legal and social support.

man holding caneTorture leaves severe scars on the victim and can impact future generations due to lasting physical and psychological damage. Self-isolation and anxiety are common symptoms among many torture survivors. Depression, insomnia, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are also some of the cognitive conditions that affect victims of torture. Even though these conditions take a special toll on the entire family, in particular, children are most vulnerable to the after-effects of torture.

Through its Global Anti-Torture Evidence project, IRCT aims to further the global fight against torture. Using data collected throughout the rehabilitation process, IRCT strives to prevent torture, help victims rebuild their lives, and prosecute perpetrators. For this purpose, the IRCT relies on its innovative Anti-Torture Database (ATD), which is used in 43 member centers across 35 countries. These centers not only provide rehabilitation support to torture survivors, but they also pool together a larger quantity and quality of data to support strategic national, regional, and international advocacy in order to eradicate torture.

A younger program within IRCT is the Global Indicators Initiative. Launched in February of this year, the initiative seeks to develop national indicators on torture victims’ rights to rehabilitation. With workshops in Uganda and South Africa, this project seeks to enable members of IRCT to better guide their states and measure the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs. Ultimately, these indicators will become a tool used to inform governments and lead to more efficient ways to support torture survivors in rebuilding their lives.

Samuel Nsubuga, the Chief Executive Officer of IRCT member ACTV, provided commentary on how a national indicator system could improve support to torture victims in Uganda: “We have excellent laws that promise support to torture victims but in practice, the State does very little to make these promises reality. So, what we need is a framework for assessing these efforts that has the buy-in of both State agencies and civil society. Then, we can truly start to move forward on this important issue.”

IRCT and ACTV are currently working alongside national stakeholders to finalize the national indicator framework for human rights monitoring work. To learn more visit IRCT.

(Photos courtesy of IRCT)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition
The Hilton Prize Coalition is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the Fellows Program, the Collaborative Models Program and the Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat, Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow the Hilton Prize Coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

 

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