Steering Committee for the International Centre for the Investigation and Prevention of Torture
Year Published: 1982
Organization profile published 1982
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2524
Abstract: Members of the community including members of Amnesty International (AI) are involved in the steering committee. The committee is presently developing a proposal for the coordination of medical services for torture victims. Members of this steering committee participated in a conference (April, 1982) along with the French and the Danes for the purpose of information sharing and joint planning with respect to health care facilities for torture victims.
Toronto has been named as the location of a coordinating service for torture victims. There are plans for a small office where a "torture index" may be housed. Through information gathering and documentation the committee hopes to help people to view torture as a public health problem; classifying the problem as a world health emergency may be the only way to draw professional attention to the problem. Research and documentation is essential to providing the medical evidence necessary to counter and prove false, government denials of torture, particularly as methods of torture become more sophisticated.
Presently, referrals come to AI from lawyers, immigration officials, and community centres such as the Centre for Spanish Speaking People. AI now refers torture victims to doctors and psychiatrists on the basis of language, experience, and availability (AI presently has a network of 75 doctors). Through the efforts of AI, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) now covers the costly medical examinations of torture victims. Toronto AI has been involved in the treatment of approximately 400 torture victims since 1974, most of them from Latin America. The establishment of this new service will relieve AI from coordinating treatment for torture victims.
Torture is illegal anywhere in the world. 300 Canadians participate in a Global Action Network to protect prisoners. Volunteers in 40 countries intervene immediately on behalf of people whose lives are in danger. The address of the AI Urgent Action Network is P.O. Box 7013, Postal Station "A" Toronto, Ont. M5W 1P6
This organization no longer exists.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1982.