The plan of action for the identification of Victims of Torture is being implemented now in the framework of the programme “Active Citizens Fund” in Greece which is supported through a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021.
Since September 2011, METAdrasi – Action for Immigration and Development has has taken over the identification and certification of victims of torture, thus fulfilling a need created by the suspension of activities the Medical Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims (MRCT).
The programme has been set up by an interdisciplinary team of METAdrasi, consisting of social workers, doctors, psychologists and lawyers with over 30 years of experience, plus younger specialised scientists trained in the field.
The practices being implemented follow a comprehensive research process to establish identity and certify victims of torture as specified by the Istanbul Protocol and international practices. The above task group is also an active participant of the International Committee for the Review of the Istanbul Protocol, which aims to optimise its implementation. A total of 1,440 cases have been processed to this date.
The programme “VicTorious”, a programme of crucial importance for the effective investigation into charges of torture and certification of all forms of inhumane and humiliating treatment or punishment, is already being implemented in the framework of the Active Citizens Fund, by METAdrasi.
The banning of torture practices is one of the most prominent recognized human rights and as a jus cogens imposes on all states (erga omnes) the responsibility to take action against such practices as well as to protect such victims.
The new programme titled “VicTorious”, aims through the identification and certification of torture victims by METAdrasi’s interdisciplinary team to strengthen the voice of torture survivors and improve their chances of partaking in available services which will aid their speedy rehabilitation. Furthermore, by tapping into its wealth of specialized experience, METAdrasi offers an additional possibility for specific forms of training for torture victims to other agencies and organisations of the Civic Society, aiming to speed up the identification of such victims, especially at entry points along the frontier. This also includes new tools to improve the project’s effectiveness and organization.
On the occasion of the funding of the programme by the Active Citizens Fund of the European Economic Agency known as EEA Grants, METAdrasi President Ms Laura Pappa, would like to note that “we are especially glad to have this project funded by EEA Grants and, as in the past, we intend to work closely with the Bodossaki Foundation. Our main goal is to move the process one step further, shedding light, in essence promoting the needs of those people who have survived in body and spirit, horrible acts of torture. At the same time, we shall try to assist so that the State can undertake a more central role, with its own specialized people, in identifying and rehabilitating torture victims arriving on our doorstep.”
The programme “VicTorious: 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 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, 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 here: www.activecitizensfud.gr.