A unique opportunity to have direct access to global research


The IRCT Scientific Symposium will bring together the global rehabilitation movement for the first time in 10 years, and it is clear that members are keen to share their knowledge and learn from other members, as well as from other experts within and external to the sector.

Carlos Jibaja, Director of Mental Health at IRCT member centre Center of Psychosocial Attention (CAPS) Peru and member of the Scientific Committee for the Symposium says the event is, "a unique opportunity to have direct access to so much global research that studies long-standing experiences of care and rehabilitation with torture survivors".

He continues, saying that it will be a chance to, "share knowledge and experiences with colleagues who work on the same issues and at the same time hear other viewpoints from related sectors. It allows us to pick up new perspectives, identify new areas of study and attention, become familiar with new instruments for improving our evaluation of treatments, learn from their best practices, and discuss ways to understand the complex problems of torture survivors and their socio-political environments."

The Symposium is co-hosted by fellow IRCT member Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (CCTI). The fact that the event takes place in Mexico City means the Latin American context will frame many discussions, something which Carlos says is a positive thing. "In Latin America the issues of torture and ill treatment have deep roots in the use of force by the police and military, as well as the repressive practices in deeply unequal societies like ours. To discuss and confront opinions means to reflect on the issues of prevention and punishment of torture, as well as the right to be rehabilitation.

"It is a way to influence authorities and institutions, as well as to raise public awareness. Especially in Mexico which is one of the countries in Latin America that carries the burden of many allegations of torture."

The Scientific Symposium programme will be released in the coming weeks, and having read through many of the abstracts that will be included, Carlos knows it will cover a mix of highly relevant topics. "As a clinician and researcher I look forward to learning more about responding to the psychosocial needs of torture survivors across all identities. Also, issues related to women survivors, victims who are highly stigmatised, the trans-generational trauma and family dynamics.

"In particular, I am interested in how institutions are carrying out studies in a naturalistic manner without artificially altering the usual way of dealing with survivors, some of them in contexts of systematic torture; the instruments that they are using, several of them mixing quantitative and qualitative methodologies."

With less than four months to go until the Symposium starts on 5 December, Carlos and the many other participants do not have long to wait.

To secure your place at the IRCT Scientific Symposium, click registration.