“The world against torture!” The 8th conference27 06 2012
In connection with the UN International Day for the Support of Victims of Torture, on June 27, 2012, Georgia hosted a conference “The world without torture” for the eighth time. The slogan for this year’s campaign was “Rehabilitation works and is a right of a victim of torture”.
The conference was organized by the Public Defender of Georgia and the Empathy rehabilitation center in partnership with the International Council for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (Denmark, Copenhagen), the Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (USA), and the Georgian Medical Association.
At the event, the Public Defender of Georgia talked about the importance of restoring the violated rights of victims of torture and the necessity of creating a system of their rehabilitation. The Public Defender reviewed the major problems that are connected with ineffective investigation and impunity of facts of inhuman and degrading treatment. He also touched the problems in Georgia’s penitentiary system in terms of mental health.
A representative of the Ministry of Justice, Ms. Tamar Tomashvili, gave a talk about the implementation of the State Action Plan against Torture.
The Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture presented an international project “Partners in Trauma Healing”. The Empathy center also presented a report on its activities in the last three years.
The participants of the event held a discussion – “The main goal of the struggle against torture – medical and legal coordination at the international and national levels”.
Among the participants of the conference were the Adviser for the South Caucasus Region of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Vladimir Shkolnikov; the Acting Director of the United Stated Agency for International Development, Joachim Parker; representatives of the EU Mission to Georgia and the International Council for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (Denmark, Copenhagen); and other officials.
The event included a showing of a documentary by the International Council for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (Denmark, Copenhagen) about measures of prevention of torture.
The conference also included an exhibition-sale of paintings by victims of ethnic cleansing and former female and juvenile prisoners.
June 26 was declared the International Day for the Support of Victims of Torture by the UN. Traditionally, this day is marked annually with different events in more than 70 countries of the world. It has also been marked for ten years in Georgia. The aforementioned campaign is coordinated by the International Council for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (Denmark, Copenhagen) which unites more than 70 rehabilitation centers under its umbrella.
In Georgia, as well as around the world, the struggle against torture and ill-treatment remains a topical issue. Against the background when 20 percent of Georgia’s territory is still occupied, about 1/9 of Georgia’s population are victims of ethnic cleansing, and ill-treatment in the penitentiary system is still a topical issue for the society, it is important to pay particular attention to the coordination of medical and legal experts in the struggle against torture at the international and national levels.