Twenty Mechanisms for Addressing Torture in Health Care

June 27, 2012 - 10:27am

Health care settings should be places where human rights are realized. Yet, across the world, health systems often serve as venues of punishment, coercion, and violations of basic human rights, sometimes amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. This abuse is especially prevalent in the care of socially marginalized groups—people living with HIV, ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people who use drugs, and people with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems.

Many national, regional, and international mechanisms exist to promote government accountability and prevent torture, yet they are rarely applied to health facilities. A new manual published by Open Society Foundations' Public Health Program offers examples of how to use 20 of them.