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MENA & North Africa report to the IRCT council Meeting March 2014



MENA Regional Report to IRCT Council Meeting
27-28 March 2014
Copenhagen-Denmark

Active NGOs in MENA Region:
Following NGOs active in the field of supporting victims of torture and violence are located in the MENA region:
AMEL (Sudan), ODVV (Iran), RESTART (Lebanon), KRC (Lebanon),GCMHP (Palestine), TRC (Palestine), NADEEM (Egypt), KARAMA (Bahrain), JESOOR (Palestine), AMRVT (Morocco), and AlFOUAD (Iraq), IHF(Jordan), Al FAnar(Sudan), WChan(Kurdistan) Al Nasim(Lebanon).

An Introduction to MENA Region
Geographical perspective of MENA:
The term MENA, for "Middle East and North Africa", is an acronym often used in academic, military planning, disaster relief, and business writing. MENA is an economically diverse region that includes both the oil-rich economies in the Persian Gulf and countries that are resource-scarce in relation to population, such as Egypt, Morocco, and Yemen.
The term covers an extensive region, extending from Morocco to Iran, including the majority of both the Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries. The term is roughly synonymous with the term the Greater Middle East.
The population of the MENA region at its least extent is about 381 million people, about 6% of the total world population Bahrain – 1,235,000, Egypt – 79,090,000, Iran – 76,923,000, Iraq – 31,234,000, Israel – 7,654,000, Jordan – 6,407,000, Kuwait – 3,566,000, Lebanon – 4,224,000, Libya – 6,420,000, Morocco – 32,200,000, Oman – 2,845,000, Gaza Strip – 1,657,000, West Bank – 2,515,000, Qatar – 1,697,000, Saudi Arabia – 27,137,000, Syria – 22,505,000, Tunisia – 10,433,000, UAE – 4,976,000, Yemen – 23,580,000</ref> At its greatest extent, its population is roughly 523 million.

General Situation of MENA:
Although international humanitarian law and human rights always and under all conditions condemn inhuman acts and decry and reject torture but existing evidence indicates grave violations of human rights particularly torture and mistreatment in more than half the countries of the world continue to occur. The lack of a noticeable balance between anti-torture laws and other inhuman acts and the real figures to its extent in today's world are observed, all of which confirm the fact that nongovernmental organizations and particularly governments must have an accurate understanding of the subject and materialize effective measures for the prevention of these acts and the protection of individuals and particularly torture take swift measures.
Furthermore, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions have been the focal points of crises and various events, and due to particular strategic sensitivities they have been the center of attention of the world. In many instances these sensitivities in most cases result in the intervention of other countries, the creation of a police system in regional countries and as a result grave violations of human rights including torture.
In general, almost three years after the Arab Spring in January 2011, the political and economic outlook for much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remains uncertain. Incident in this region have a significant effects, both negative and positive, on the activities of NGOs and especially rehabilitation centers dealing with victims of torture and violence.
The opportunity for political reform in the MENA region is unprecedented. However, structural political change cannot be dissociated from further economic reforms. The interdependent structural challenges faced by many countries—such as high unemployment, low female labor force participation rates, low levels of private sector development, weak public and corporate governance, bloated public sectors, limited competition, and pervasive corruption—will need to be addressed. Indeed, political reform cannot fully respond to citizens’ demands if it is not accompanied by better living standards. The current events provide an opportunity to develop a more transparent and effective economic governance to unleash the region’s economic potential. Not only has the economic barrier been one of the main challenges toward the new formed states, but also, it has been the main problem of NGOs.
The region is the heart of the conflict in the world, Syrian refugee crisis worsen, thousands missing valuable Libya, civil wars and the frightening escalation of violence and murder, torture and extremist Salafist groups

AMAN Network
The idea for the establishment of the AMAN Network was proposed by member centers and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) back in May 1999.
The word AMAN in Arabic means safety or safe, and this is exactly what victims of torture need. Following meetings between member centers in 2012 in Geneva, its name changed to AMAN Network for Rehabilitation and Defending Human Rights in order to expand their services and to increase its membership.
Currently there are centers from Sudan, Lebanon, Iran, Morocco, Palestine and Bahrain that are members of this network and memberships from a number of other regional countries are pending on reviews.
To-date, AMAN Network has faces various ups and downs, but despite the existence of different national and international challenges it has managed to hold sittings in member countries. One of the important achievements of this network has been the setting up of a secretariat to guide the network, which was established in the 11th Meeting of the network in Tehran in 2007, in which majority of members took part.
During the sitting of the members of secretariat of this network in July 2012 in Tehran, and subsequently a colloquium and the strengthening of this network more than before in Geneva, this secretariat held a sitting in September 2013 and reviewed the challenges of this network.
Some of the important objectives of this network are as follows:
- Exchange of information and experiences
- Holding education programs for rehabilitation centers.
- Links with important human rights centers including the OHCHR, special and thematic rapporteurs and also International Support for Torture Victims Fund.
- Monitoring of human rights in various national and international levels and information dissemination in this regard.
The first meeting of centers in MENA region / AMAN Network took place in Cyprus in May 1999, coinciding with its founding. Representatives from rehabilitation centers in Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon and Algeria were among the participants of this conference. Since its founding the Network has held 10 conferences in the following order: 1 – Cyprus, 2 – Egypt, 3 – Lebanon, 4 – Egypt, 5 – Morocco, 6 – Lebanon, 7 – Egypt, 8 – Sudan, 9 – Bahrain, and 10 – Morocco and 11- IRAN.
Also, two meetings held in Geneva in 2010 and 2012. But due to financial problem this Network was not able to get to gather its members more.
For more information about the centres you can directly contact them or visit their websites as below mentioned:
http://www.amannet.net/en/



Some of the issues and challenges for the implementation of the overall strategy 2010-2014
In general, the strategy was theoretical & does not express the situations and the needs of the centers & after the evolutions in the Arab countries it put tasks to establish new priorities and tasks
Challenges
 Centers have problem on fundraising and they are facing budget limitation,
 Centers are weak on the level of administrative and organizational,
 Centers are not well aware about their duties and responsibility as member,
 Working in urban area requires extensive resources,
 As often the governments in MENA region are perpetrators of human rights violations and torture, therefore, centers working in this field are facing restriction and pressure by the governments.
 Centers needs to take part in capacity building workshops and training courses in order to be able to write standard project proposal and expand their abilities to fundraising.
 Regular contact and relations between centers and IRCT need to be improved. It should not be limited to the international events or meetings.
 MENA centers need to get to gather at least once a year. Therefore, supports from donor’s countries or IRCT are required.
 MENA centers need to have joint projects on relevant fields. Lack of joint projects increased the gap between centers.
 Lack of effective communication between centers and the community.
 Lack of documentation & analytical research.

Opportunities and strengths:
 Access to victims of torture / violence through national centers is less challenging than international ones.
 Relations with the urban communities including refugees is relatively developed,
 Networking with other national NGOs is relatively developed,
 Less bureaucratic,
 Volunteers are contributing as staff sometimes.
 Less expensive operations in comparison with other relevant bodies.

Suggestions and recommendations based on need assessment:
 Increase capacity-building of all actors/centers: strengthening national centers in MENA region through coordinating training courses (e.g. project proposal writing, fundraising, lobbying as well as medical and technical courses)
 Empowering of rehabilitation centers through equipping them new equipments in order to provide different range of services to their beneficiaries.
 Empowerment of victims of torture / violence survivors to address their livelihood needs (emphasizing on livelihood needs as well as after treatment services).
 Necessary of expansion of relationship between MENA centers and with their international counterparts, UN bodies and NGOs.
 IRCT requested to support not only MENA centers, but also the AMAN Network as an independent org.
 Translation of UN and relevant sources on relevant field.
 Measures in place to ensure the security of all partners, including centers staff and the individual at risk.
 Evaluation of the rehabilitation process.
 To make a link between rehabilitation & human rights.
Also, in order to support response of the Centers to the survivors of victims of violence / torture the following services / steps should be improved and supported:
• Referral to medical and legal services,
• Survivor accompaniment to medical and legal appointments,
• Crisis intervention,
• Emotional and psychological support for the survivor and his/her family,
• Documentation of the incidents (Data base of centers should be improved and confidentiality should be respected),
• Provision of physical and material needs: all centers should received updated materials from IRCT / UN relevant bodies,
• Ensuring safety, engaging the community in providing safe shelter,
• Home-based support.
• To put an urgent plan for the MENA& North Africa region.
• Creation of a fund to support centers threatened from the close.

Brief about AMAN Network Centres:


Al-Karama Center/Bahrain Human Rights Society
P.O. Box: 20306
Manama – Kingdom of Bahrain
Telephone: (+973)17825425
Fax: (+973)17826836
Website: www.bhrs.org/
El-Nadim Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence
Phone:+202 25787089 /+202 25776792
Adress: 3A Soliman El-Halaby Street - Ramses
Cairo, Egypt
Email: info@elnadeem.org
Website: www.alnadeem.org
The Organization For defending Victims of Violence(ODVV)
Siavash Rahpeik
ODVV Director
Phone:+98 21 88 95 49 28
Fax: +98 21 88 96 30 91
Email: int@odvv.org
P.O.Box: 14155/5957,Tehran-Iran
Website: www.odvv.org
Bahjat Al Fuad For medical & psychological rehabilitation center for torture victims
Dr.Abdul Nasser Husein Abdullah
Director of the center
Phone: +964 7801422452
Email: Drhsn65@yahoo.com
Address: Iraq-Basrah-Brayha area-close to Al Noor Hospital
Institute for Family Health(IFH)
Dr.Manal Tahtamouni
Institute Director
Phone: +962 65344190/ +962 65344192
Fax: +962 65344191
Mobile: +962 796818977
P.O box: 955 , Code: 11910
Email:dr.tahtamouni@ifh-jo.org
Website: www.ifh-nhf.org.jo
Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture
Main Address:
Beirut Corniche El Mazraa
Behind Gallery Chour
Zreik Center, 5th floor
P.O. Box 14-5843
Tel: 961 01 302631
Mobile: 961 03 379612
Fax: 961 01 701692
http://www.khiamcenter.org
Email: info@khiamcenter.org
Khiam_center@hotmail.com

Association Marocaine des droits Humains(AMRVT)
Dr.El Manouzi Abdelkarim
Center Director
Phone: +212 522226127
Fax: +212 522482733
Mobile: +212 661107781
Email:karimelmanouzi@yahoo.fr
Email: assoamrvt@yahoo.fr
TREATMENT & REHABILITATION CENTER FOR VICTIMS OF TORTURE
Al-Ersal St. Al-Masah Building, 3rd floor
P.O. Box 468
Ramallah, Palestine
Tel.: +972 2 2961710, 2963932
Fax: +972 2 2989123
e-mail: info@trc-pal.org
Website: www.trc-pal.org
Amel Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture
Khartoum - Sudan
nagib15@yahoo.com
Phone: 249183797152
Fax: 249183797153
Restart Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture
Tripoli - Lebanon
restartc@idm.net.lb
Website: http://www.restartcenter.com/
Phone: +9613447793
Fax: +9616410577


MENA Centers and their Achievements:

Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV):
The ODVV is an NGO located in Tehran – IRAN. The Rehabilitation Department of the ODVV is set up to provide rehabilitation services to victims of violence. At the start of its activities, the Rehabilitation Centre became a member of the International Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (IRCT). The Centre conducts its activities in the two areas of therapy and prevention.
The therapy section includes the provision of services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and psychology. In the prevention section, the Centre holds educational workshops, roundtable, and research and information provision.
The main activities of the ODVV in line of supporting victims of violence in 2013 are as follows:
Translation of Istanbul protocol with support of DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture) into Farsi. It is for the first time that this important document is translated into Farsi and will be distributed among relevant rehabilitation centers, universities and technical bodies.
Prevention of Domestic Violence and Life Skills Education Workshop for Afghan Refugees Residing in Kan – 2013
Through signing of a tripartite agreement between the ODVV, Interior Ministry’s Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), this project began in seven stages from March 2013 for 60 Afghan refugees - that included 30 men and 30 women - with the aim of reducing domestic violence.

Commemoration of International Days and Sittings:
- Commemoration of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims of Torture
- Commemoration of the International Day of Non-Violence
- Commemoration of the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse
- Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Other Educational workshops held by the ODVV:
- Education Workshop on Challenges in pre-marriage Counselling with Problem Cases
- Education Workshop on Reconciliatory Couples Therapy (Systematic - Cognitive - Behavioural)
- Film Therapy Education Workshop
- OPCW Sitting: The ODVV alongside the Association in Support of Victims of Chemical Weapons, and the Peace Museum of Tehran and a number of victims of chemical weapons too part OPCW sitting.
- In 2013, 94 people benefited from the telephone hotline services, 654 women and 450 men. According to statistics the majority of cases had family problems.

AMRVT Centre – Morocco Report
One of our main activities is the presentation of medical and psychological help to victims, to improve their mental and physical situation. We endeavor to identify torture victims and apply treatment and therapy mechanisms
The Centre began its activities 2001 with a group of doctors from various fields. Self-motivated these doctors began their work and endeavored to create a centre to present medical, hygiene and psychological services to victims of torture. The Centre began its work through an independent medical association until 2005 when it finally received official credit from the government for its activities.
The main part of our activities is the provision of professional and independent services in a purposeful, and fair objectives way. The provision of medical consultations, subscribing drugs and other medical services is a part of our activities. Over the last few years our medical team has managed to provide various services to 350 torture victims. These 350 cases had come to us because of psychological problems, and we provided them with the services that they needed. For our work we need all-sided assistance.
We have series of meetings with jury panels. Terminal patients have approached our Centre for treatment that is severely traumatized as a result of torture. Our Centre holds counseling sessions with these individuals. We have had meetings with numerous international organizations domestically and abroad.
We have been hosts to a number of representatives from the UN. We have held conferences and seminars, and several political figures have attended these, and discussed torture victim related issues. Experts from home and abroad to exchange views about the future of human rights, and necessary recommendations for the continuation of human rights objectives.
Extensive propaganda campaigns have been conducted regarding our activities. Five seminars have been held on victims of torture with the participation of doctors from various parts of the world. We also held a seminar on human rights activists. For the future we are intending to hold a seminar at the European level on psychotherapy and treatment of various psychological problems that torture victims suffer from. The psychology and psychotherapy centre opened on Universal UN Day, and another centre opened on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
In the 90s nearly 1000 released prisoners that were torture victims were treated by our Centre, and we witnessed the physical and mental scars of these victims. over the recent period our Centre has accepted 950 of these patients and are having treatment and therapy. We have documented photos of these individuals in our Centre. We give them the medicine they need, and transfer the patients to specialized hospitals for continuation of therapy. We have also trained a number of groups on psychotherapy.
We also identified a number of prisons that people who were kidnapped by Algeria were secretly imprisoned in them. Through efforts made by regional and international organizations, these individuals were released, and most of them approached our Centre for treatment. Forty-two of these people were treated by our psychologists, and a number of those that had been subjected to physical torture were transferred to hospitals across the country (194 hospitals). Another 130 specialists helped us in treating the victims.
Khiam Centre’s Report
Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims and Torture is founded in 1999 from the Follow-up Committee to support the detainee issue, as a non-governmental organization. KRC is a member of the international Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, and member of the Global Network against Torture. KRC is a professional institution with a social program set under a clear vision; rebuild a society destroyed by torture and violence, via promoting democracy, co-existence and human rights. Supported by 16 committee members, the center activities started in the South of Lebanon; with the victims of torture in the Israeli prisons, by now the center activities expanded to reach and cover victims of violence in all the regions in Lebanon, in addition to some activities in MENA region; Consequently The center has done an immense effort in promoting AMAN network that is willing to develop the regional network, by collaborating in projects and strong communication.
The center obtained consultative status at the United Nations in 2010 and participating in the Permanent Human Rights Council and the organization of workshops on torture and human rights situation in the Arab countries.
Khiam center empowers, rehabilitates those people through workshops, conferences and training to increase their productivity. Thus the center worked along with the Government on a project funded by the World Bank in order to improve the economic situation of the victims of Torture and violence, therefore the center in collaboration of the government have employed 70 victims in OGERO Lebanon, in addition the project enhanced the economic status of 8, 000 ex-detained. Moreover KRC organized and implemented the project titled “Entrepreneurship for Refugees, Program in Lebanon”, the main objective of the program is to provide vocational assistance for Iraqis refugees through psycho-social counseling and training in order to employ them by the business partners once they are qualified. The project covered 800 Iraqi refugees in one year. In addition to these achievements, the center worked on empowering women; Such as the workshop entitled "Woman between international conventions and the Lebanese Law" where Lawyers and Palestinian and Lebanese women bodies are participated, awareness campaign regarding health and social activity implemented at Baabda women prison, additionally the project titled “Violence against women” that is set to empower women capacities, and highlight their basic human rights. All these effort are completed In order to train, develop and educate generations that suffered from wars, violence and oppression for many years, consequently Khiam center strongly believes that Rehabilitation is right for every human being, but unfortunately this is not taken in consideration and not put in practice as a law in Lebanon therefore torture is still practiced.
The global strategy 2010-2014 in MENA region did not operate therefore it was theoretical and not practical, mainly because of the critical and unstable situation in the region, and the escalation of violent conflict. For example the war in Syria has influenced Lebanon and generated new priorities in terms of social needs that must be met. Moreover there are other internal relevant causes that interrupted the work of the strategy; such as the lack of communication between the representatives of the International Council and the centers this fact kept the IRCT ignorant of the reality on the field.
Unfortunately the MENA region is knowledgeable with issues related to torture, and violence in terms of war victims or domestic violence. Consequently, the issues that must be targeted by the IRCT in Mena region are related to Social Unrest, Security and Violence Issues. Thus we invite the IRCT to set a meeting to discuss and analyze the situation In MENA in order to find the proper strategic plan that can be implemented at the time.
In the year 2013 the center have give services to 484 cases (medical & psychosocial assistance), 128 was direct victims & 356 in direct, and have 61 new case.
Amal Centre – Sudan Report
The Amal Centre is situated in Khartoum the capital of our country, and was founded and registered in 1999. Before this we started our work secretly (1989) investigating the conditions of torture victims, with the help of 105 doctors and number of social workers. But our activities became open in 1999. a number of our doctors have gone abroad, and cooperation with these individuals has become better for our centre’s activities. This is due to the fact that some of our funds are provided by these doctors. Around 350 people were taken in by our Centre. According to available statistics there are currently 16,000 victims in Sudan, and these figures are put much higher in unofficial statistics.
In 1999 the Centre managed to expand its activities and we opened 3 branches in the troubled Darfur region. We witnessed a lot of killings over these years, the rights of many people were violated, and various bodies, even the regime and opponents to the regime, had a role in these tortures and violations. This is why the number of the victims that approached us increased a lot. Approximately 2 million people in Darfur were in need of treatment.
A number of young people that had been trained by us went to the town of Dialeh situated in northern Darfur, and through efforts we managed to set up a treatment centre in one of the refugee camps. We faced some difficulties, but we managed to train women and tribal leaders to recognise signs of torture, and to give them assistance. Currently 150 doctors, lawyers and psychologists are cooperating with us.
The Darfur situation has become a global issue, and we have been able to get a lot of support in our work.
Our work and experiences are growing and expanding on a daily basis, to such an extent that apart from our headquarters in Khartoum we have managed to open a number of branches in the southern region of Sudan. Three years ago a ceasefire agreement was signed, but the repatriation of large number of refugees has clearly shown what dreadful things have taken place in the region, and many families have been robbed. This is a new challenge that we hope our Centre and other centers will become active in, so that we can treat a large number of cases in Sudan.
The Lebanese center for Human Rights (CLDH), Lebanon:
The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization based in Beirut. CLDH was created in 2006 by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily), which has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human rights violations.
CLDH monitors the human rights situation in Lebanon, fights enforced disappearance, impunity, arbitrary detention andracism and rehabilitates the victims of torture. CLDH regularly organizes press conferences, workshops and advocacy meetings on human rights issues in Lebanon and collects, records and documents human rights abuses in reports and press releases.
CLDH team on the ground supports initiatives aimed at determining the fate of all missing persons in Lebanon.

CLDH regularly follows up on numerous cases of arbitrary detention and torture in Lebanon in coordination with Lebanese and international organizations, and with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention WGAD and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
CLDH opened in 2007 a Rehabilitation Center for the victims of torture in Beirut, Centre Nassim, member of IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture victims), which provides multi-disciplinary professional support and case management for victims of torture and their families.
CLDH compiles a daily press review on human rights violations and on-going judiciary cases in Lebanon and updates several human rights blogs.
CLDH is a founding member of the Euro-Mediterranean Federation against Enforced Disappearance (FEMED), a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Network of Human Rights (REMDH), a member of the SOS Torture Network of the World Organization against Torture (OMCT), and a Founding Member of the Follow-Up Committee on Mass Graves, which advocates for the respect of international standards for exhumation practices.
Gaza Community Mental Health program:
A Palestinian society that respects human rights and in which people live in dignity, free of oppression, and feel that their well- being is promoted.
OUR MISSION: To develop GCMHP as knowledge- based institution to enhance the capacity of the community in dealing with mental health problems based on the principles of justice, humanity, and respect for human rights.
OUR STRATEGY: To develop the mental well- being of Palestinian community through working with three major target groups: children, women, and victims of organized violence and torture.
Institute for Family Health (IFH), Jordan
The Institute for Family Health IFH is a non-governmental organization; it is affiliated with Noor Al-Hussien Organization and has two branches; the first is in the Swelieh and the second is in Al-Hashmi area. IFH seeks to improve services provided to children and mothers in the Kingdom, focusing on early diagnosis of disabilities and rehabilitate children suffering from them, in addition, IFH gives special attention to the preventive and reproductive health in general. Through the specialized trauma center, IFH has paid attention to the different aspects related to the health and wellbeing of the family; including the health, legal, psychological and social aspects, in addition to delivering services in comprehensive and integrated manner in order to deliver quality services to entire family members throughout the different life stages.
The Services delivered by Institute of Family Health:
Ø Providing primary and secondary health care inside the different clinics, including: Family medicine, general medicine, dentistry, nutrition, Pediatrics, Orthopedic medicine, Endocrine glands clinic, urology and laboratory.
Ø Providing psychological and social care though individual and group counseling, support group and music therapy among others.
Ø Conducting specialized support groups for different age categories
Ø Providing diagnosis and rehabilitation services for children with disabilities and learning disability, including physiotherapy, speech therapy, and special education.
Ø Conducting training and awareness sessions in all health, psychological, social and legal aspects, especially with regard to issues related to children’s rights, such as child labor and domestic violence.
Ø Providing social, legal and psychological counseling services to domestic violence victims and gender-based violence.
Ø Providing primary services for children whom parents are separated or unaccompanied through a team of psychologists and social workers that seek to provide children or hosting families with help.
Ø Building the civil society organizations’ capacity to develop a wider perspective of the community health, reproductive health, children protection, Gender, refugees’ rights, domestic violence and gender-based violence.
The Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of torture, (Palestine):
The treatment & rehabilitation center for Victims of Torture (TRC) is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit human organization. TRC also aims to promote Human Rights in Palestine by researching and disseminating information regarding the plight of the torture victims. Through its highly expert and professional advocacy and research team, TRC has become a forerunner for the promotion and dissemination of information regarding human rights throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
TRC also works to reduce the traumatic and devastating physical and psychological consequences of torture and politically motivated violence, as well as the retaliatory behaviour of the victims through its Treatment and Rehabilitation Program. Through this, TRC offers the victims and their families’ comprehensive medical, psychiatric, physical, and psychosocial care –that is completely free of charge, in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. TRC also works to combat systematic torture and violence throughout the West Bank. It also aims to tackle the belief of impunity that often the perpetrators feel, as well as the complete feeling of hopelessness often experienced by the victims. It aims to do all this through its training, research and advocacy programs.
Our History
TRC was founded by by Dr Mahmud Sehwail- Consultant Psychiatrist- in 1997. The idea for the organization was born out of the violations committed by Israel in the 50 years they have occupied the Palestinian territories. Dr Mahmud noticed that the institutions designed to assist victims of torture were very lax in their expertise and knowledge. Dr Mahmud promoted the idea of the link between torture and the psychological traumas an individual can experience, he then began to implement his ideas – giving many victims a place to come and discuss and vent their problems for the first time. In the late 90’s TRC began to co-operate with other torture prevention organisations and after funding from the SDC was able to establish a board of trustees. It was then that TRC reputation and Palestine’s leading human rights organisation began to grow.
After the 2nd intifada in 2001, the political atmosphere changed greatly, and TRC work become a necessary tool to the welfare of many of Palestine’s citizens. It introduced its Advocacy and Research project that promoted not only TRC’s work but also the psychological affects that torture can have on an individual.
TRC has continued to grow, promoting its unique work throughout the whole of Palestine. Crucially, TRC has not become not only a leading player in the treatment and rehabilitation sector but also through its advocacy work – TRC has become a forerunner for advocacy, research and capacity building in the human rights field as a whole.
Jesoor Center(Palestine):
Jesoor for Trauma Recovery was founded by Dr. Abdelhamid Afana, a prominent psychotherapist and Tran cultural mental health specialist who has extensive experience in community mental health and human rights is a non-governmental and non-profit organization governed by a professional and an independent board of Directors elected by the general assembly.
Vision
To develop a trans-cultural model of the “right to health” approach and commitment to social justice and change in Palestine and the region, by examining health in the context of people’s life –moving
beyond the individualistic approach to include extended family, social, cultural, political, religious and economic conditions. The model is based on analyzing the links between health and human rights focusing on the community approach and development. Such a model will be developed through capacity building, contextual research studies, professional advancement, professional credentialing, and the ability to act as an ethical change agents in a constantly changing environment by empowering family and community initiatives in alliance with existing community resources.
Mission
Jesoor would be distinguished for its leading position in the region as an organization of excellence in capacity building, professional practice, contextual research, and of its critical analysis of the linkage between mental health and human rights. Jesoor will be proactive and innovative in efforts to alleviate inequalities in health, making family empowerment more accessible and culturally acceptable while providing each individual with dignified service. We will gain distinction for our critical analysis of the contextual linkage between health and human rights, and contribute creatively to the local, regional and global right to health approach movement and prevention of torture. We will achieve this by basing health practice and research on the philosophy of right to health approaches and the holistic framework
of people’s rights where our focus is not only on the mind, body and spirit, but also on the context were individuals live.
Wchan Organization for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Kurdistan):
The TRTC was established by Heartland Alliance, an International NGO, in 2007 with the US-State Department fund in response to the high levels of torture and trauma that people in Iraq were experiencing. Over the years, the centre has developed both its expertise and clinical capacity to provide a wide range of services to torture and war trauma survivors Form September 2011, the TRTC in consultation with Heartland Alliance discussed the localization of the Center aiming at establishing a local sustainable center in the region. As of January 2013, the TRTC became a program of a newly established local NGO (Wchan Organization for Victims of Human Rights Violations). The new organization has being registered with the KRG as an independent local organization.
TRTC has two main functions:
• Direct Services
• Conducting Trainings

El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence (Egypt):
El Nadim Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of victims of violence is an independent Egyptian NGO that was established in August 1993 as a civil not for profit company.
During the first year of its establishment El Nadim restricted its activity to the provision of psychological rehabilitation to victims of torture and the provision of medicolegal reports whenever this was necessary. At that time we had been working in other human rights organizations and found great difficulty in issuing reports for victims of torture from official medical institutions such as university or government hospitals.
However, in our evaluation of the first year of our work, we realized that working with torture cannot be complete without making the issue public: i.e. publishing, campaigning and mobilization of different societal sectors against a practice that has gone completely out of hand over the past two decades. We have adhered to this approach in all our later activities, whether those were related to torture, violence against women or other issues of democracy and freedom of Civil Society.
El Nadim provides psychological management and rehabilitation to victims of torture. Together with other NGOs and individuals it also provides some form of social support and refers to legal aid resources.
Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence Restart Center - Lebanon
Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence Restart Center is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) active in the field of rehabilitation of victims of torture and violence. Restart was established in 1996.
It is a founder member for (AMAN) Network in the Middle East and North Africa and a member Center in (IRCT) International Rehabilitation Council for Torture victims 2003.
Restart Center Director is Ms. Suzanne Jabbour.
Vision
•Respect for Human Rights, dignity and integrity of each individual.
•Help alleviate the human suffering resulting from torture for the individual, the family members and the community
•Prevent torture by ensuring Human Rights through raising awareness on both community and state levels for the prohibition of torture
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