Hope and Memory: Identification and Certification of Victims of Torture
Up to 30% of refugees worldwide are victims of torture and so are a significant portion of the refugees arriving in Greece from countries like Syria and African countries. However, and despite being part of a vulnerable group, they are not identified in time as their identification and certification requires specific expertise. Especially in cases where evidence of torture is hard to document, victims are at risk of losing access to international protection.
The project’s main goal is to support the protection of victims of torture through three complementary actions: a) the certification of victims of torture, b) the training of frontline actors, and c) raising awareness, informing and advocating.
METAdrasi is since 2013 the only actor receiving official referrals from the Asylum Service and the Reception and Identification Service, through which its experienced team to certifies victims of torture. This certification is given according to the procedure laid out in the Istanbul Protocol, and is aimed at asylum seekers, as the certificate constitutes legal proof that can be used in asylum claims. Additionally, training staff of the services involved in the asylum process constitutes an urgent need, so that the most evident cases of torture get identified immediately, and that the more complex cases are referred to METAdrasi for further investigation. The third pillar includes actions of monitoring and advocacy, with the aim to raise awareness about this particularly vulnerable group, both in the actors involved and in the general public, and to exert pressure to create an appropriate framework.
At the end of the project, 340 persons will have been certified as victims of torture, and will have access to international protection and other services. 70 workers from involved actors will also have been trained in identifying victims of torture. Finally, at least one (1) advocacy report will have been published, and one (1) awareness campaign will have taken place.