Hilton Humanitarian Prize

2003 Laureate

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

IRCT has a membership of some 150 treatment and rehabilitation centers for torture survivors, covering more than 70 countries across six continents.

The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2003. Torture is a sophisticated but cruel form of social and political control designed to stifle dissent through terror. Prior to the 1970s, little was known about torture methods or the physical or psychosocial consequences for its victims.

Medical treatment and rehabilitation for survivors of torture

The first medical group to begin diagnosing torture victims was established in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974, and doctors from 34 countries soon joined. In 1982, the first rehabilitation center for torture victims was opened in Copenhagen to research and document torture techniques and to identify methods to treat torture survivors. By 1985, this organization evolved into the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims.

Multidisciplinary support and advocacy beyond medical aid

Every year, IRCT centers and programs provide some 105,000 torture survivors and their families with multidisciplinary support, including medical and psychological care and legal aid, enabling them to resume as full a life as possible.

As a voice for torture victims worldwide, the IRCT continues to call on the global community to accept its shared responsibility to assist victims of torture, bring perpetrators to justice, and eradicate all forms of torture.