CANADIAN CENtRE FOR VICTIMS OF tORTURE

CANADIAN CENTRE FOR VICTIMS OF tORTURE

CCVT is a non-profit, registered charitable organization which aids survivors to overcome the lasting effects of torture and war.

OUR MANDATE

The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) aids survivors in overcoming the lasting effects of torture and war. In partnership with the community, the Centre supports survivors in the process of successful integration into Canadian society, works for their protection and integrity, and raises awareness of the continuing effects of torture and war on survivors and their families. The CCVT gives hope after the horror.

 

HOPE  AFTER HORROR

PROGRAMS

Torture has been called the 20th century epidemic. Amnesty International estimates there are more than 90 countries in the world that systematically practice torture. A fundamental characteristic of torture and ill-treatment is that it is an integral part of the institutional structure of many states. Contemporary warfare has increasingly become a matter of insurgency and counter-insurgency, with the result that governments and security forces respond to political dissent using torture and state terror as instruments of political strategy.

 

When a government perceives a threat to the security of the state, it may rationalize the use of torture on the grounds that these techniques are means to obtain information and break the source of the threat.

 

This rationale allows for the expansion of torture since a government is able to expand its definition of security so that the number of people or groups who appear to threaten it becomes broader. It is important to note that torture has also been used by opposition forces, and by groups such as death squads acting with or without government approval. Nor is torture confined to particular regions of the world or to governments with particular political ideologies.

 

In many countries the victims of torture include men and women from all social classes, age groups, religions, sexual orientations and professions. Torture uses modern technology, psychological techniques and drugs which leave few physical signs, thus making it difficult to corroborate reports of torture. Nevertheless, enough cases are being documented to prove that torture and ill-treatment are widespread today. Techniques of torture include: environmental manipulation (e.g. sleep deprivation, isolation); pharmacological manipulation (e.g. hallucinatory or muscle-paralyzing drugs); coercive methods (e.g. forced observation of torture of friends and family); somatic methods (e.g. beatings, rape, mutilation, starvation); psychological methods (e.g. sham execution).

 

Although torture and ill-treatment can be conducted on both physical and psychological levels, an act of torture can never be classified as having exclusive physical or psychological effects. Much of the trauma and stress of torture arises from the total experience of incarceration and ill-treatment, rather than from specific acts of violence. While torture may be used to obtain information or signed confessions, this is not its primary purpose. Signing such confessions seldom leads to relief or release. Torture is directed towards instilling and reinforcing a sense of powerlessness and terror in victims and the societies in which they live. It is a process which generates a situation designed to destroy the physical and psychological capabilities of survivors to function as viable individuals.

ABOUT TORTURE

OVERVIEW

 

MORE

AFTER EFFECTS

PLEASE SCROLL

DOWN

TO SEE

MORE

ARTICLES

CHILDREN & TORTURE

It is shocking to associate children with torture. It is however a reality that children suffer from oppression, war, and torture directly or indirectly. In the twentieth century, children have increasingly become the target of oppressive regimes. It is alarming to comprehend the magnitude of the phenomenon: half the world’s refugee population are children.

 

 

ADOLESCENTS AND TORTURE

Adolescents are targeted in oppressive regimes throughout the world. They are often coerced into combat roles by such regimes and forced to engage in warfare.

 

In the best-case scenario, adolescence is a time of excitement, learning, and taking on new challenges. In the worst-case scenario, adolescence is a time of learning also, but learning about violence, oppression, and murder.

WOMEN AND TORTURE

Of the 23 million refugees around the world today, the majority are women and girls, a forgotten majority who constitute more than three-quarters of the world's refugee population. Of these a large number will have experienced torture, or will have family and friends who have been tortured or killed.

SENIORS & TORTURE

AFTER EFFECTS

RESETTLEMENT

The longer one has lived in one culture, the more difficult it can be to settle into another. Refugee survivors of torture who are seniors have a particularly difficult time adjusting to a new culture and are at increased risk for many problems such as mental health problems, stress, and anxiety during resettlement. Seniors who are survivors of torture, particularly those who have been in a new culture for only a short period of time, are commonly isolated from everything they've ever known. In turn, many seniors in this situation are forced to rely heavily on younger relatives for financial, social, and psychological support.

Psychological symptoms of torture frequently include anxiety, depression, irritability, paranoia, guilt, suspiciousness, sexual dysfunction, loss of concentration, confusion, insomnia,

nightmares, impaired memory, and memory loss! Survivors of torture are often unwilling to disclose information about their experiences. They may be suspicious, frightened, or anxious to forget about what has happened. These

feelings may discourage them from seeking the help they need.

The United Nations definition of refugees states that a person must have grounds to fear persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political belief in order to be given asylum. For survivors of torture it is not only genuine fear of persecution, but persecution itself that forces the refugee to flee his or her country. The decision to flee one's country does not involve choice; refugees are forced to depart their countries through the experience of persecution. In no case is the decision to become a refugee is the refugee's own resolution, but, rather, it is a decision made by force of circumstance and under conditions of extreme duress.

HUMAN RIGHTS

SURVIVOR STORIES

Torture and other human rights violations continue to take place in many countries all over the world. Victims and survivors of torture include women and men, the young and the elderly, the wealthy and the poor, the educated and the less educated in short, those who have experienced torture and other human rights abuses are from all social classes, denominations, cultures, groups, and ages.

" I was a victim of torture back in my country and the scars are still visible on my face for the world to see. There are numerous others who don't have visible scars although they were also tortured. The torturers are experts in torturing without leaving any visible marks or scars...

HOW CAN  I HELP?

publications

FIRST LIGHT

ANNUAL REPORTS

First Light is published bi-annually, is intended to inform the interested reader about torture, its effects and what we can do in aiding survivors of torture and war. CCVT views itself as part of a larger global community and is committed to the struggle for human rights, justice and the end of the practice of torture.

 

Editor: Ezat Mossallanejad, Settlement Counsellor, Researcher & Policy Analyst

 

Layout Design: Chizuru Nobe, Volunteer

 

Public Education Committee: Mulugeta Abai, Executive Director; Fred Case, Board Member; Susan McGrath, Committee Chair; Teresa Dremetsikas, Programs Manager; Huda Bukhari, Manager, Settlement Services, Ezat Mossallanejad, Policy Analyst

 

Editor's Note: The information provided in this publication is not controlled by the CCVT and therefore may not reflect the Centre's views.

TORONTO SOUTH LIP PUBLICATION

The Toronto South LIP is one of approximately 20 Local Immigration Partnerships across Ontario designed to provide a collaborative framework to facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable solutions for the successful integration of newcomers to Ontario that are local and regional in scope.

 

 

 

The 2013 Toronto South Lip file can be viewed HERE.

East Downtown Toronto Local Integration Partnership (LIP)

The East Downtown Toronto Local Integration Partnership (LIP) has been created to support the objectives of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement and complement efforts by Canada, Ontario and Toronto to improve immigration outcomes for immigrants and for Toronto as a whole. It is one of the 13 CIC funded LIPs.

 

East-Downtown-Toronto-Local-Immigration-Partnership-Environmental-Scan-Report-2010

 

LIP-REPORT-November-2009-September-2010

 

EDT-Consultation-Report

 

EDT-LIP-Directory-of-Services

 

 

 

 

PAST RESEARCH PROJECTS

 

    Methodology In University-Community Research Partnerships: The Link-By-Link Project

 

    From Interpersonal Links to Webs of Relations: Creating Befriending Relationships With Survivors of Torture and of War

 

    A Qualitative Analysis of the Barriers Victims of Torture Face in Accessing Health Care in Canada

 

    Psychosocial Effects of Torture and Refugee Trauma

 

    Student Placement Report

 

    Reflection on Level LINC at CCVT by Catherine Raine

 

    Caring For The Caregivers

 

 

STAFF PUBLICATIONS

As Canadian schools increase in diversity, it is vital that educators are equipped with the resources needed to best serve Canada’s most vulnerable newcomer children and youth, particularly those who are survivors of torture and/or war. Teachers must be conscious that children and youth survivors have lived through unique experiences, have unique needs, and require specific supports to best support their educational development. However, despite their trauma histories and the barriers they experience during their settlement in Canada, children and youth survivors also demonstrate an incredible wealth of resilience, when they are provided with specialized assistance that empowers them to reach their potential. Teachers play an important role in fostering this potential, as the ability of the education system to  impact-of-war-and-torture-on-the-education-of-newcomer-children-and-youth recognize and respond to the needs of survivors can significantly impact the settlement and mental health wellbeing of these children, youth and families.

 

READ MORE

MORE

EVENTS

FIRST LIGHT CELEBRATION 2014

First Light Celebration 2014

Old Mill Toronto

Dinner, Entertainment and Live Auction

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cocktails: 6:30p.m. Reception & Dinner: 8:00p.m.

$125/Ticket ($60 Charitable Receipt)

$1000/Table of 10 ($350 Charitable Receipt)

 

FLYER

City of Toronto Proclamation - June 26 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

 

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, on behlf of Toronto City Council, has proclaimed June 26, 2014 as "International Day in Support of Victims of Torture" in the City of Toronto.

Contact Us

YOU HAVE QUESTIONS

WE HAVE ANSWERS