Resources on Identifying & Responding to the Torture of Children2022-04-26T10:09:54-06:00
CSO Forum

“The fact that [information] on identifying and responding to the torture of children is needed reflects a basic global failure in fulfilling the rights of children articulated in the UNCRC. Torture is happening globally and children everywhere are at risk, but together, we can transform ourselves into advocates that work together to address this critical issue.” – Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen, ISSOP    

Across the globe providers are responding to calls to aid children who are the victims of violence and armed conflicts, have been displaced, are seeking refuge, and/or are in need of humanitarian care for many other reasons. Many of these children have experienced significant physical and emotional trauma—some of which rises to the level of “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment,” or torture. Many providers in these settings lack the knowledge, expertise, and experience to identify, document, and respond to the physical and emotional needs of these children.

To help fill that gap, we have partnered with ISSOP, the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the University of California San Francisco Health & Human Rights Initiative, to gather resources from organizations dedicated to improving outcomes for these most vulnerable populations. If you have any questions or comments about these resources, contact resources@ispcan.org. If you have a resource to share, please click on the button at the bottom of the page to submit.

On-demand training

Our on-demand 4-part training, Identifying & Responding to the Torture of Children, hosted in partnership with ISSOP, UF College of Medicine, and the UCSF Health & Human Rights Initiative, gives healthcare professionals and other service providers the knowledge they need to better identify, document, and respond to the physical and emotional needs of children who have experienced torture. Click on the link below to watch Module 1: What We Know. To watch all four modules and learn how to get CME credits, visit this page.

Key organizations

Center for Child Policy

The mission of the Center for Child Policy is to translate research into usable resources that promote evidence-informed policy-making and best practices for all professions involved in the field child maltreatment. One area of focus is intrafamilial child torture.

World Organization Against Torture

The OMCT works with 200 member organizations to end torture and ill-treatment, assist victims, and protect human rights defenders at risk wherever they are. Together, we make up the largest global group actively standing up to torture in over 90 countries. We work to protect the most vulnerable members of our societies, including women, children, indigenous peoples, migrants and other marginalized communities.

Society of Asylum Medicine

Asylum medicine is a field comprised of clinicians who conduct medical and mental health forensic evaluations of asylum seekers, and the educational, advocacy, and scholarly work that they perform. The Society of Asylum Medicine provides resources and promotes community and interaction among professionals involved in asylum medicine.

UN Committee against Torture

The Committee against Torture (CAT) is the body of 10 independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its States parties. The Committee against Torture works to hold States accountable for human rights violations, systematically investigating reports of torture in order to stop and prevent this crime.

Center for Victims of Torture

The Center for Victims of Torture is an international nonprofit that works toward a future in which torture ceases to exist and its victims have hope for a new life. They provide direct care for those who have been tortured, train partners around the world who can prevent and treat torture, and advocate for human rights and an end to torture.

Association for the Prevention of Torture

As the world’s leading organisation dedicated to preventing torture, the APT has contributed to increased transparency and independent oversight of places of detention. We provide expertise to support our partners and we advocate for greater action on the global stage.

Other resources