CVT was founded in 1985 as a nongovernmental organization after the governor of Minnesota, Rudy Perpich, Jr., assembled a committee to recommend initiatives that would make a difference for human rights. The committee proposed creation of the United States’ first center for rehabilitative care for survivors of torture. The Center for Victims of Torture opened in St. Paul, with one counselor. Over the years, we grew geographically and programmatically, today offering culturally-competent and interdisciplinary care to survivors, along with initiatives to end torture, enhance the skills and resilience of human rights defenders and organizations, and to facilitate justice for survivors.
Great progress has been made in that time. Since CVT began our work, the United States ratified the Convention against Torture, passed the Torture Victims Relief Act, and filed a presidential executive order banning torture. In addition, tens of thousands of survivors found care and began rebuilding their lives after torture.
Check out highlights from our history.
Douglas A. Johnson is hired as executive director.
CVT opens a policy office in Washington, D.C.
The first Torture Victims Relief Act is introduced. The U.S. ratifies the Convention against Torture.
New Tactics in Human Rights project launches, building strategies & tactics for activists.
CVT open a center in Guinea (past project), & launches the National Capacity-Building Project to support U.S. torture treatment centers.
CVT capacity-building work goes international with Partnerships in Trauma Healing.
CVT opens a center in Sierra Leone (past project).
CVT opens a center in Liberia(past project).
President Obama signs Executive Order banning torture, as a result of CVT-led Campaign to Ban Torture. CVT opens a center in Gulu, Uganda.
CVT opens a center in Dadaab, Kenya (past project).
Curt Goering is hired as executive director of CVT.
CVT opens the Healing Hearts project in St. Paul, and offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tigray Ethiopia.
CVT opens a center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Simon Adams is hired as president and CEO.
CVT open Proyecto Mariposa in Tucson, Arizona. CVT launches the Healing, Incarceration and Policing project.
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