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

Ethiopia Counselors Stretch

Friday, October 3, 2014
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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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Posted in Washington, D.C.
Today in Washington, DC, The Constitution Project released the results of a national poll finding 69 percent of Americans believe a declassified version of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture should be released to the public.Among respondents, support for releasing the report is bipartisan, with 71 percent of independents, 69 percent of Democrats, and 67 percent of Republicans saying the report should be made public.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture is an insightful one-hour documentary about the experiences of torture survivors and those who provide care to them. It highlights the need for appropriate, sensitive care for all survivors who seek refuge in the United States. Interviews with a number of survivors as well as professionals working at torture rehabilitation centers – including CVT – humanize and demystify the process of healing after extreme violence.Producer/director Ben Achtenberg spoke to us about his film. Ben is the owner and project director of the Refuge Media Project, in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Monday, September 29, 2014
In early August, we wrote about a group of U.S. Senators urging President Obama to extend for two years Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians residing legally in the United States. The current eighteen-month DED extension is set to expire on September 30, 2014.On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum extending DED for qualified people from Liberia for two years, through October 1, 2016. 
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Friday, September 26, 2014
This month, psychotherapists from 24 torture survivor rehabilitation organizations in the United States gathered in St. Louis for a two-and-a-half day advanced clinical training on complex trauma in torture survivors. Each year, CVT’s National Capacity Building Project holds an institute for professionals to come together to focus in-depth with their colleagues across the country on a particular aspect of torture survivor rehabilitation.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Judith Twala, MA, is a psychotherapist/trainer with the Center for Victims of Torture in Dadaab, Kenya. Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp in the northeast region of Kenya, close to the Somali border. Most refugees in this complex of camps are from Somalia with others from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014
Each year, thousands of Eritreans flee to refugee camps in northern Ethiopia to escape forced military inscription, persecution, and torture. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently announced that Ethiopia is now the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. According to UNHCR, Ethiopia is host to 629,718 refugees. The largest refugee population is South Sudanese (247,000), followed by Somalis (245,000), and Eritreans (99,000). UNHCR says that, over the past seven months, almost 15,000 Eritreans arrived in Ethiopia.As the Eritrean government targets the families of young men who flee the country to avoid forced conscription, more women and children have also fled Eritrea seeking refuge in Ethiopia.
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Monday, August 18, 2014
Posted in Human Rights, Refugees
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently issued a report on the plight of Syrian refugee women. Woman Alone: The Fight for Survival by Syria's Refugee Women shows that more than 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan – one in four of all households – are headed solely by women. According to UNHCR, the report uncovers that “Many [women] live under the threat of violence or exploitation, and their children face mounting trauma and distress.”
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Friday, August 1, 2014
Fifteen U.S. Senators, including Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to extend for two years Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians residing legally in the United States. The current eighteen-month DED extension is set to expire on September 30, 2014.
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Monday, July 28, 2014
Curt Goering is the Executive Director of CVT. In 2009 and 2010, he served as Head of the Gaza office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. While previously working at Amnesty International, he also investigated the impact of rockets fired from Gaza on communities in southern Israel. Here, Curt reflects on his experience in light of the recent ongoing violence and the heavy psychological toll the conflict is inflicting on children from both sides.
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We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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