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 “…The education was particularly useful and well-rounded, by people with field experience”

“…personally I hope that there will be a follow-up and that we will be given the opportunity to be informed in even more detail on the subject”

The above quotes are characteristic of the many positive reviews written by the 104 participants of the 2nd seminar on “Identification and Certification of Victims of Torture”, which comes to confirm once again, the great need for interdisciplinary and comprehensive information to be provided to the competent public and other authorities regarding the techniques and methods for identifying victims of torture.

The 2nd digital training seminar “Identification and Certification of Victims of Torture” held on 24 and 25 June 2021, is part of a series of trainings undertaken in the framework of the action entitled “Hope and Memory: Identification and Certification of Victims of Torture”, which is part of the Active Citizens Fund programme, implemented by METAdrasi.

Participation in this seminar was over 20% up on the first one that took place in March , with the vast majority of participants evaluating it very highly (4.73 / 5). The 104 participants represented more than 35 state and institutional bodies, as well as Civil Society Organizations. They included lawyers, psychologists, social workers and administrators, both from the mainland and from the main border points of entry,  tasked with dealing with such cases on a daily basis, since the subjects they deal with usually consist of refugees, asylum seekers and, generally, people in great need.

The main goal of this educational initiative of METAdrasi is to inform and educate competent authorities by transferring experience and know-how, as well as to disseminate best practices for the identification, certification and treatment of asylum seekers who have suffered torture, humiliation and inhuman treatment. The programme is aimed at public officials, certified authorities and health professionals who are active both in the reception centres for refugee identification, as well as in other refugee accommodation structures. It is run with the valuable assistance of experts, specialized scientific staff of METAdrasi and specialists with significant work experience in the field. In the context of the seminars for the identification and certification of victims of torture, valuable data and findings are presented to enhance the training theory of the participating authorities and appropriate tools, techniques and methods for the correct and immediate identification of victims are often analyzed, a process which can prove quite complex and painful for the victim itself.

The recognition and legalization of victims of torture is crucial to securing their right to asylum, in accordance with the procedures provided for by the Istanbul Protocol and is instrumental in rehabilitating and integrating them into a supportive and functional framework.

Since 2011, METAdrasi is the only body that undertakes the identification and certification of victims of torture through the procedures supported by the Istanbul Protocol. Since the establishment of the First Reception Service in 2012, METAdrasi has been supporting the refugee population with all its means, providing interpretation services, developing a network for the representation of unaccompanied minors and certifying victims of torture. Since 2011, more than 1,500 refugees – victims of torture – have benefited from its activities.

The programme “Hope and Memory: Identification and Certification of Victims of Torture” is implemented in the framework of the programme “Active Citizens Fund”, by METAdrasi – Action for Migration and Development.

The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a € 12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow.

More information: www.activecitizensfund.gr/en/

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