Providers of Medico-Legal Assessments and Support
Information below has been compiled by Rights in Exile Programme staff
Resource person: Courtney Welton-Mitchell*
Email: courtneymitchell13gmail [dot] com
Below there is a list of organisations who provide assistance in the form MLR assessments, counselling, psychological and socio-economic support to victims of torture and inhumane treatment.
International Providers of Medico-Legal Reports (MLR)
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) provides medico-legal support in over 100 countries worldwide. It is a health-based umbrella organisation that raises awareness of rehabilitation needs of torture victims, supports the establishment of treatment facilities and promotes the prevention of torture worldwide. Access a list of torture rehabilitation centres in different countries.
HealthRight International is a global health and human rights organization working to build lasting access to health for excluded communities. Projects include the care and support for survivors of human rights violations such as torture, trafficking and related violence. Through the Human Rights Clinic, HealthRight provides pro bono forensic medical and mental health evaluations and affidavits for survivors and connects them to follow-up services, including medical and mental health care. Currently HealthRight International provides support in Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine, the United States and Vietnam.
The Centre for Victims of Torture (CVT) works in the USA and in countries in Africa and the Middle East to provide torture survivors with medical, psychological, and social services. CVT also advocates for policy initiatives to prevent torture and to increase government support for torture rehabilitation programmes.
Providers of MLR and support for torture victims per country
(This list is a work in progress. Countries and organisations are being continuously added to it)
Foundation Against Violation of Law (FAVL), based in Yerevan, was founded in 1991, as a non-governmental non-profit organization working in the human rights area. Armenian Rehabilitation and Development Centre for Torture Victims is a project run by FAVL. AEDCEN-TV provides a) medico-psychological multi-disciplinary examination, b) therapeutic and psychological intervention, c) provision of free medicines, d) consultations and defense in court proceedings, e) medico-legal reports, for asylum seekers and refugees.
The IRCT Zagreb is an independent humanitarian non-governmental organisation providing: a) psychological treatment, b) psychosocial support, c) medico-legal reports, to torture survivors, refugees, asylum seekers and their family members.
The Cordelia Foundation, Budapest, aims to improve the mental state and quality of life of traumatized asylum-seekers, refugees with asylum or other humanitarian status, and their families.The Foundation offers: a) psycho-social rehabilitation, b) pro-bono medico-legal reports for its clients, c) pro-bono medico-legal reports at the request of partner organisations and legal representatives.
The Shubhodaya Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence (SCRVTV), N.Delhi, (managed by Society for Social Research Art and Culture, (SOSRAC)) offers a comprehensive set of services to victims of torture, irrespective of their legal status. The centre has formal understanding with UNHCR and receives support and guidance from the IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims), the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNFVTV).
SPIRASI is a humanitarian, intercultural, non-governmental organisation that works with asylum seekers, refugees and other disadvantaged migrant groups, with special concern for survivors of torture. SPIRASI provides medical legal reports according to the Istanbul Protocol.
KRCT has expertise in the fields of mental health, trauma and torture recovery. The core activity of KRCT is the delivery of rehabilitation services and psychological assessment in order to support the asylum process.
IAN is a local non-governmental organisation based in Belgrade. Since 2000, Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (CRTV) has been functioning within IAN to offer pro bono: a) psychological treatment to torture victims and their family members, refugees and asylum seekers, b) Medical examinations and treatment to torture victims and their family members, c) legal assistance (counselling and court representations) for torture victims, d) Psychological assessment reports for torture victims and asylum seekers under suspicion/allegations of exposure to torture or ill-treatment.
Freedom from Torture, formerly the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, is a UK-based organisation that has been working for 25 years to provide direct clinical services to survivors of torture who arrive in Britain, as well as to protect and promote their rights.
The Helen Bamber Foundation is a human rights charity based in London that provides therapeutic care, medical consultation, legal protection and practical support to survivors of human rights violations.
United States of America
The National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs (NCTTP) is a U.S.-based network of programs devoted to the care of torture survivors living in the United States. The NCTTP acts collectively to prevent torture worldwide.
Physicians for Human Right's is a community of hundreds of health professionals across the United States who offer pro bono forensic psychological and physical evaluations to document evidence of torture and persecution for men, women, and children fleeing danger in their home countries. PHR clinicians have specialised training and expertise in recognising and documenting the trauma of conflict, displacement, abuse, discrimination, and oppression.
*Courtney Welton-Mitchell is the director of the Humanitarian Assistance Applied Research Group at the University of Denver and is a licensed clinician.