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Medical & Psychological Support and Networks

Torture can cause a broad range of physical and psychological problems, pain and scars that can last a lifetime. Medical and psychological rehabilitative support is therefore essential to the empowerment, successful integration and recovery of torture survivors. This may include emergency medical treatment for life-threatening conditions, long-term treatment for a range of illnesses as well as specialised physiotherapy and psychological care.

Medical and psychological assessment also plays an important role in the documentation of torture and ill-treatment.

There are a range of organisations operating both internationally and locally, that provide access to some of these services. In particular:

The IRCT is an umbrella organisation for more than 140 independent torture rehabilitation centres in over 70 countries.  Many of these centres can provide specialised medical and psychological examinations to be used in legal proceedings.  It may be possible depending on the location and available resources for such examinations to be done on an urgent basis.

IRCT’s member organisations may also be able to provide medical assessment and treatment, psychotherapy and counselling, individual or group therapy and physiotherapy for rehabilitation of torture survivors.  As a rule, they cannot cover costs for examinations and treatment, but this may be possible depending on the context, location and available resources. The IRCT is independent from any government, and its head office is in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Click here to see a list of IRCT’s member organisations

Head Office Telephone: +45 33 76 06 00; Email: irct@irct.org; Website: www.irct.org

There are also many national survivors networks that exist around the world, a number of international networks run by and for survivors of torture have been created. These include:

UK Medical & Psychological Support and Networks

If you are in the United Kingdom (UK), the following organisations may be helpful to you:

If you are in the UK, and an asylum seeker meeting specified requirements, it is possible that you may be entitled to the following (Immigration and Asylum Act 1999):

Other forms of support include (Immigration and Asylum Act 1999):

 If you are in the UK, with refugee status or leave to remain, and you meet specified requirements, it is possible that you may be entitled to the following:

In addition, you may register with a doctor / General Practitioner (GP) as soon as you arrive in the UK. You will need to complete a form providing details such as your name, address, date of birth. Some GP surgeries will also require a photo identity, such as a passport or driving licence and proof of address, such as a utility bill (gas, electricity, water or council tax bill). At the doctor’s surgery, you will be asked to disclose your medical records and will have the opportunity to raise concerns in relation to your past experiences of ill-treatment, and/or of any disability. There are also many national survivors networks that exist around the world, a number of international networks run by and for survivors of torture have been created. These include:


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