Scientific Committee impressed by high quality of abstracts submitted


Members of the Scientific Committee, an international group of experts selected for their leadership in health and human rights, are extremely impressed with the diversity and quality of the abstracts they have reviewed for the Symposium.  

More than 240 abstracts were submitted, which will form a unique and exciting programme that will take the torture rehabilitation sector to the next stage in its development in Mexico City in December 2016.

Nora Sveaass, Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, Norway and member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture says, "I have been deeply impressed by the variation and also the quality of the presentations. The issues covered by many are highly relevant for the Symposium and will be important contributions to the programme.

 "There are several on therapy approaches; on the importance of early identification, including health assessment on arrival for refugees; on aspects relating to family systems and networks and not least on advocacy, strategies for rehabilitation and ensuring convention obligations. All of these areas are extremely topical and interesting at the moment and going forward."

The deadline for abstracts closed on 1 March 2016 and the review process has been underway since then. Fellow Scientific Committee member Bhava Poudyal, a former member of the IRCT Council who has many years of experience in working with survivors in Asia and Africa said, "There is a wide range of abstracts, from rigorous scientific studies, innovative creative forms used for therapy, traditional healing mechanisms, to the other growing dimension of refugee torture survivors who are outside of their traditions and communities and face yet another major anxiety of, will I be accepted in this country, or will I be sent back?

"The Symposium has the potential to move the sector forward significantly, by  presenting and discussing the most useful monitoring and evaluation tools for working with survivors of torture. I am really looking forward to not only the Symposium but also the publications that will follow it."

The abstract review process will conclude by the end of May, when all abstract authors will be notified whether or not their abstract has been accepted.

Registration for the Symposium will open in the coming weeks so please visit the website again soon.

For enquiries please contact Leanne MacMillan and Lars Døssing Rosenmeier at  Any media enquiries should be directed to Ailish O'Donoghue at