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Healing and Human Rights: A Blog by the Center for Victims of Torture

Showing all blog posts in torture

Alison Beckman
Asylum and refugee officers are making decisions that can have serious consequences. My job is to help them understand what torture survivors have experienced so that they, in turn, can be sensitive to interviewing torture survivors while making wise and informed decisions.
Many may not be ready to tell their story in front of a truth commission or international tribunal—some may never be ready. They may not even be ready to tell their story confidentially to a clinician to begin the process of healing. But if and when they are ready, the choice should be their own. The international community, governments and non-governmental organizations alike, should be there to offer support and expertise. The truth that must emerge must be the survivor’s own.
CVT Research Associate, Jennifer Esala, Ph.D, answers key questions on monitoring and evaluation and how it supports program development.
Annie Sovcik
Since 2011, an estimated 200,000 Syrians have been killed and over 11 million have been displaced. As CVT supports the #WithSyria campaign to turn the lights back on for Syria, we also support efforts to shine a greater light on the abuses and atrocities that have been committed by all sides of the conflict, including the Assad regime, and bring perpetrators to justice.
When I think of International Women’s Day, I think of the women we see every day here at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) in our treatment programs in the U.S., Jordan, Kenya, Ethiopia, and soon, Uganda. Around the world, the numbers of refugees and displaced people are growing, and many of the women we serve at CVT are refugees.
“Your help to me is mandatory because if you do not help me I will die.” Those were the first words from Oba, a young Congolese man who joined one of our counseling groups.
A new poll finds 69 percent of Americans agree that "torture is immoral."

Paul Orieny, Ph.D., LMFT is a clinical advisor with CVT.

 

Earlier in the summer, I visited our Nairobi project to check in on our clinical work.  One day, I joined a men’s counseling group for their second session. It’s a group of gentlemen – from teenagers to 70-year-olds and all ranges of profession. These men are Rwandese, Burundi and Congolese, and it’s amazing how they have come together.

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government launches a two-year research project to examine the policy consequences of torture.
For nearly three years, the Center for Victims of Torture has provided mental health care to refugees in the world’s largest refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. We hire and train men and women who are part of the refugee community in Dadaab, a complex of camps near the Somali-Kenya border. As mental health paraprofessionals, or psychosocial counselors (PSCs), they were recruited through a very competitive interviewing process.

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