Dec 17, 2017 Last Updated 3:54 PM, Dec 15, 2017

The Right to Redress for Survivors of Torture or Other Ill-treatment

Right to Redress

Rehabilitation is part of the concept of „redress“ to which victims of torture are entitled to under Art. 14 of the UN Convention against Torture. This article clarifies that victims must receive the opportunity to obtain an effective remedy as well as adequate and full reparations for the harm suffered under torture. Both parts of the right to redress must be provided by the state at the hands of which the torture or ill-treatment occurred.

An effective remedy is mainly a procedural requirement and means that allegations of torture or ill treatment must be properly and effectively investigated by the state, perpetrators of torture must be held accountable, and the victim must have the opportunity to bring legal proceedings in order to claim adequate and full reparations.

Reparations are the substantive requirements of the right to redress and consist of five different but interrelated elements to which survivors of torture and ill-treatment are entitled, namely: Restitution, compensation, satisfaction, guarantees of non-repetition, and rehabilitation.

Apart from rehabilitation, with which the Kirkuk Center mainly deals, the other components of reparations are also important:

Restitution means that the physical and material situation, in which the victim found him or her self before the torture, must be as best possible reestablished. Compensation refers to financial or other material compensation for things that cannot be restituted, such as the victim’s health or dignity. Satisfaction means usually that the state under which the torture was practiced must make an either symbolic or official act by which the suffering of the victims is either publicly acknowledged or the truth about the practice openly revealed to the entire society. Guarantees of non-repetition similarly require a public declaration, directed not only to the victim but all people in the state’s jurisdiction, that it shall not again engage in such ill-treatment.

Rehabilitation, the main concern of the Jiyan Foundation, is also a requirement of the right to redress in form of reparation. According to the UN Committee against Torture, rehabilitation must include medical and psychological care for victims of torture, as well as social and legal services. All the components are required to be directed at restoring the victim’s physical and mental independence as well as reintegration into society.

Links

UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), General Comment No. 3: Implementation of Article 14 by States Parties, 13. December 2012, CAT/C/GC/3