The section has been active in the fight against torture and severe human rights violations and in the support of survivors. The approach is collaborative and interdisciplinary as in the case of “therapeutic justice” and has a strong emphasis on the work in war and crises regions. Some of the members have been amongst the contributors of the UN/WMA “Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (“the Istanbul Protocol”), that is also supported by WPA.
With joined forces from all over the globe the work on the draft also led to the establishment of this section several decades ago. Ever since the section has been involved in training psychiatrists and other (health) professionals on the use of the Istanbul Protocol (IP) and other related trainings that take place both in places were the prohibition of torture and ill treatment – through international human rights and humanitarian law and treaties - is not respected as well as in countries that are hosting refugees and asylum seekers who fled torture and prosecution.
The section has, among other publications, published a handbook on refugee care (Springer/Nature), officially supported by WPA. The section continues to have (online) presence during WPA (sponsored) conferences, nurtures exchange of knowledge between its members as well as other WPA Sections, and is active in position statements such as in the development of the WPA statement on the role of Psychiatrists in interrogations. Also it collaborates with other organisations such as the (inter)national Red Cross, (i)NGOs as well as international bodies, regional health care networks and local Universities.
Prof. MD Psychiatrist Medical University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 23 1090 Vienna
MD Psychiatrist Medical Director, Cordelia Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims Budapest
Joost Jan den Otter
PhD MD MSc Public health Specialist
International Committee of the Red Cross
Juba, South Sudan
>> Please click here to see the Section Members list
EU Life Long Learning project “Awareness Raising and Training for the Istanbul Protocol” (ARTIP).
Documentation Centre and Library. DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture accessible here..
International Rehabilitation Council for Torture victims (IRCT).
Istanbul Protocol – Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (accessible here).
Istanbul Protocol Model Medical Curriculum (accessible here).
Istanbul Protocol Handbook (accessible here).
Online course (three modules) from REDRESS on this topic ( accessible here).
Torture: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture (accessible here).
United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (accessible here).
Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (accessible here).
WMA Declaration of Tokyo – Guidelines for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment (accessible here).
Mandela Rules (revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (accessible here).
Bangkok rules for the treatment of female prisoners (accessible here).