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1951 Refugee Convention states that protection should be given to those with a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, social group, ethnicity, political opinion, or religion. The fact that a person has been tortured does necessarily mean that they are entitled to Refugee Status, for example, if there has been a change in government since. Similarly, many people who are not victims of torture will still have a legitimate claim to asylum. However, in many cases, being able to demonstrate that a person is a victim of torture could significantly strengthen their case. Requests for the medical documentation of allegations of torture are best made by the applicant's legal representative. There are additional safeguards in, for example, the UN Convention Against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights: "No State Party shall return a person where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be subjected to torture."

The Torture Reporting Handbook

This handbook is produced by the University of Essex to advise NGOs working in other countries about the documentation of torture and related international processes, including many of those relating to refugees, eg: How to respond to allegations of torture within the international system for the protection of human rights. It is available in a number of languages.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-13; 13:07]

The Refugee Council

This is the largest organisation in the UK working with asylum seekers and refugees. Information for asylum seekers and refugees available on this web site in 12 different languages.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-13; 13:07]

The Scottish Refugee Council

A Scottish charity providing advice, information and assistance to asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-13; 13:07]


This is a network of health professionals working with refugees and asylum seekers developed from the work of the Medact Violence, Conflict and Health Working Group. It highlights the health impacts of violent conflict, poverty and environmental degradation, and with others acts to eradicate them. Medact runs short courses and conferences.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-13; 13:08]

The Guardianship of the 1951 Convention

This is the responsibility of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR); an excellent source of information on the global refugee situation.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-13; 13:08]

Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Available below on asylum support site.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-13; 13:10]

Resources Finder for Torture Victims, Asylum-Seekers, & Refugees

US site providing over 100 links to resources including: major centers, online courses (e.g., Caring for Refugees and Survivors of Torture: An Internet Course), legal services, information about asylum and refuge, networks of torture survivors human rights organizations providing information and services, guides to assessment.
Also links to valuable online resources.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-13; 13:03]

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