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Effective identification and documentation of torture

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Short project description: Objective of the project is to contribute to more adequate identification and documentation of consequences of torture among asylum seekers. This project is developed in order to assist health professionals and other relevant stakeholders in dealing with new, burning issue on increased number of asylum seekers in Serbia. Among asylum seekers, there is great number of those who have been subjected to torture, in the country of origin or during their trip to Serbia. Staff dealing with asylum seekers is in need of information and knowledge that would help them to adequately admit and assist torture victims among asylum seekers. They will be trained in identification and documentation of torture, as well as in issues concerning asylum. Benefits for victims of torture will be multiple. They will have more adequate treatment, better recognition of their needs and adequate referral to needed assistance. In addition, they will have proof of survived torture which can help them receive asylum and find better life.

Main Results in 2016: Two trainings on effective identification and documentation of torture were held in 2016. Trainings provided participants with adequate knowledge, firstly about torture and its definition and about relevant international and national standards related to torture. They learnt about state obligations related to rehabilitation of torture survivors, reparation and redress, as well as about “non-refoulement” principle. Trainings gave participants enough knowledge to recognize the most vulnerable among refugees and migrants and to recognize psychological, behavioural and physical consequences of traumatic experiences such as torture. They gained basic knowledge on how to document experience of torture when possible, to provide adequate report and finally to do a proper referral.

As a result of trainings, IAN established better cooperation with different stakeholders that are active in the field of provision of different type of assistance, in the field of protection, advocacy and human rights of refugees and migrants. IAN is recognized as an organisation specialized for rehabilitation of the most traumatized refugees and migrants, torture survivors. Different civil society organizations, as well as international organisations that provide direct assistance to refugees/migrants are referring victims of torture and other traumatized victims to our Center for psychotherapy and psychiatric consultations.

Participants in those two trainings were professionals and other stakeholders who were in contact with refugees/asylum seekers and migrants, or who were working in institutions that provided services for them.

One of those trainings was organized with regard to 26th of June, UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. IAN and UN Office of the High Commissioner in Serbia in cooperation with Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, organized seminar and round tables entitled Human rights of Migrants. Thanks to the field visit of Mr. Claude Kahn, HR Adviser for Serbia, to IAN, on behalf of UNVFVT, the idea of preparing mutual event was realized. Seminar was held from 20-22 June, in Subotica, place near the border of Serbia and Hungary. Round tables covering topics of vulnerable persons among refugees were held, and IAN’s focus was on the topic of torture victims among refugees from Middle East and North Africa. Third day was dedicated to Effective identification and documentation of torture and was held by IAN experts within the training project supported by UNVFVT. Training gathered different people who were in direct contact with refugees (NGO and GO staff) and representatives of different Ministries and State actors in charge of migration issues.

In 2017 IAN is preparing two more trainings on Effective early identification and documentation of torture among refugees and asylum seekers.

Donors:
UNVFVT

Contact person: Bojana Trivuncic, bzivanovic@ian.org.rs

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