For 40 years, DIGNITY has been at the forefront of the fight against torture. Below you will find some of the achievements we have accomplished in cooperation with partners
First in helping torture victims
We were among the very first centres in the world to rehabilitate torture survivors.
Thousands have received help
Since our founding in 1982, we have treated more than 5,000 torture survivors and other traumatized refugees with a strong focus on the inclusion of evidence-based treatment methods, which make a positive difference for our patients. The rehabilitation clinic in Copenhagen is recognized by the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) as a highly specialized national centre for the treatment of severely traumatized refugees.
First with the research
We were among the first in the world to conduct research on the rehabilitation of torture survivors. We published some of the world’s first scientific articles on torture. As the initiator and manager of the Danish Trauma Database for Refugees (DTD), DIGNITY plays an active role in the development of evidence-based treatment.
Human rights behind bars
DIGNITY is one of the first NGOs to formally be a member of a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). Together with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman we monitor institutions, in which people are deprived of their liberty. The goal is to ensure that Denmark complies with its human rights obligations.
Everyone must be helped
All asylum seekers are currently screened for torture upon arrival in Denmark. Together with the Danish Red Cross, we have developed the tool used to screen torture survivors.
Help for the whole family
In 2008, DIGNITY developed family treatment for trauma victims. The treatment is now the standard at most rehabilitation clinics in Denmark. Today, DIGNITY offers an interdisciplinary rehabilitation course with the involvement of relatives and networks and a focus on scientific documentation of the effect of the treatment.
The fight against torture becomes global
Out of the Danish work against torture, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) emerged in 1985 to become a global network of rehabilitation centres. Today, the IRCT is an organisation with more than 160 member centres in 76 countries.
The first centres are established
DIGNITY has contributed to the establishment of a number of national rehabilitation centres for torture victims worldwide. This applies, among others, to countries such as Tunisia, Kosova and Albania.
We train professionals abroad
For years, DIGNITY’s experts have helped to train doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, lawyers, police officers and other professionals in rehabilitation, medical and legal documentation and independent monitoring of police and prisons as well as the conditions and treatment of prisoners.
DIGNITY has successfully argued in favour of the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) by a number of countries. We have contributed to the establishment of National Preventive Mechanisms in, among others, Guatemala, Honduras, and Tunisia. After the Arab Spring, DIGNITY helped develop and support Tunisia’s NPM – the first of its kind in North Africa and the Middle East.
We collect evidence of grave human rights violations
DIGNITY is the initiator and lead of the International Accountability Platform for Belarus – a historic initiative, in which civil society organisations, supported by 20 states, are responsible for documenting and investigating serious international crimes, including torture, in Belarus and thereby contribute to the prosecution of those responsible.
Cooperation with judicial authorities
The capacity of prosecutors and judges to combat torture and limit the use of pre-trial detention has been strengthened in a number of countries. The use of pre-trial detention – during which much of the torture takes place – has been reduced in Jordan and other countries.
Help during the pandemic
DIGNITY has trained and provided assistance focusing on the prevention of COVID-19 to prison staff and monitoring mechanisms from Sierra Leone, the Philippines, Zambia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Latvia, the UK, Switzerland, and Rwanda.