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Pictures from the conference "Trauma, Torture Victims, Flight" on 15.-16. February in Graz

Conference summary in English

Conference summary in German

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Pictures from the third training in Zagreb

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Torture is one of the most distressing and psychologically annihilating expressions of human conduct. The Declaration of Tokyo made by the World Medical Association in 1985 states that torture is " the deliberate, systematic or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons, acting alone or on the orders of any authority, to force a person to yield information, make a confession, or for any other reason”


Torture is a phenomenon which dehumanizes its victims, leaving them with serious and lasting psychological and physical wounds. It poses a serious obstacle to the advancement of human rights, including civil and socioeconomic rights. The use of violence against defenseless persons leads to intimidation and silence. Torture is prohibited under international law. By agreeing to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or by ratifying either the International covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, countries around the world have accepted total prohibition. However, the use of torture, in spite of international law by governments and other official institutions has led to justifying its use as a coercive weapon. Due to various war zones and areas of political disturbances, the worldwide fight against the use of torture has suffered a setback. Powerful governments have put the discussion about torture and its prohibition out of main stream discourse. Torture as a means of extracting information in order to fight terrorism is being advocated and practiced. Justifying the use of torture methods is a disturbing development. It propagates violent behavior as being acceptable, leading to polarization as well as forbidding dialogue and the possibility of finding lasting solutions. International efforts to defend the absolute prohibition of torture is currently a burning issue because the results of the breach of this agreement is making itself felt in the increasing numbers of refugees who are victims of torture and are seeking asylum within the European Community.


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