Wednesday, 19 May 2010

FWC represented at The European Network of Rehabilitation Centres for Survivors of Torture Conference

The European Network of Rehabilitation Centres for Survivors of Torture is holding its annual conference from 18 - 21 May in Copenhagen, Denmark. For the first time in its history an NGO from Cyprus has been invited to attend. FWC, which operates the only rehabiitation for victims of torture in Cyprus, is that NGO.

Rehabilitation Centres for Survivors of Torture from around Europe are represented at the conference and many themes will be discussed. This year’s theme is “Right to health and rehabilitation” and RCT together with OASIS is hosting the conference.

The overall theme of the conference is the rights based aspects of health and rehabilitation; how does this issue play out in terms of policy and practice? What are the health professional and political perspectives on the issue? What obligations do States have vis a vis the health of torture survivors? To what degree have States met these obligations?

About the network
Within the boundaries of the Council of Europe about 100 centres and programmes provide assistance to victims of human rights violations, either asylum seekers and refugees in host countries, or victims of past or current regimes.

Considering the political developments in Europe and in particular the fall of the Soviet regime, the enlargement of the European Union and the development of a common EU asylum system, there was a strong need for more cooperation and a sharing of experiences and expertise between the regional organisations providing support to victims of torture and also the appeal of facing new international challenges together.

Therefore, in 2003, the organisations created an informal network: The European Network of Rehabilitation Centres for Survivors of Torture.

The network presents three levels of activities:

* Large networking conferences
* Workshops and groups focusing on specific issues
* A clinical discussion group
* Ongoing dialogue and coordination through use of internet

Participants include psychotherapists, doctors, psychologists, social workers, lawyers and administrators.

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