Recent challenges to the definition of torture by governments, leading academics and the ‘torture-lite’ played out in the entertainment industry have all contributed to a slide in public understanding of who is tortured, where, how and why. There is an urgent need to reach new audiences with new ways of understanding the reality of torture to ensure that it is prevented and that its survivors access rehabilitation and get redress. stating that the prohibition against torture is absolute, that torture does not work and that it offends human dignity is not enough.
Understanding of the challenges faced by survivors in our communities needs to be built. At the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (MF) we have through capacity building approaches facilitated survivors roles as advocates for the prevention of torture and for the rights of its survivors. Many torture survivors benefit from telling their story of torture and being heard. Telling others what happened to them and expressing their opinion about how to create a world without torture can have a rehabilitative effect for survivors. Many of the survivors we work with state that they gain back some of their dignity when they are able to speak about their torture. This presentation will report on the outcomes of the survivors advocacy training program at the MF in terms of their rehabilitation.