REDRESS is a charity for torture survivors operating from the UK and The Netherlands. However, both organisations run independently from one another and work separately. REDRESS UK aims to help torture survivors by assisting sufferers with legal help in making those responsible for torturing them accountable. They focus on the legal ways that can help torture survivors post torture.
Redress was aptly formed on the same day as the United Nations Human Rights Day in 1992. The man behind the formation was Keith Carmichael. Mr. Carmichael was wrongly imprisoned for three years in the Middle East without trial and had his spine severely fractured. His experience of mistreatment made him want to form what is now REDRESS in order to tackle the torture of other people and use the law to provide justice.
Help For Torture Survivors
REDRESS UK can help torture survivors by providing legal help for free. They focus on the need to give torture victims the justice they deserve. Many charities set up for torture survivors focus on physical and mental support but REDRESS UK focus on easing continued suffering by providing justice. They do this by using the law to help make those responsible be accountable for their actions. They have three main aims when helping torture survivors:
- Obtaining justice
- To hold the people responsible accountable for their actions
- Secure help for victims in line with the law
If REDRESS UK do not feel like a specific case is within their capabilities, or can be taken on due to capacity, they will endeavour to help torture survivors in other ways. When they cannot take your case to the courts, they will provide practical advice so survivors know their options and where to turn next.
They may even help survivors make contact with psychologists to help with the mental scarring that torture brings. They can also put people in touch with specific doctors and other support services that specialise in helping torture survivors.
They may also inform other organisations, parliamentarians, government officials and human rights groups of a torture survivor’s application for help. This will only be done with consent. These groups may be in a better place to help their specific situation depending on the type and location of the torture.
These groups may also help with legal guidance so they can help seek justice and help survivors move on with their lives. Alternatively, they may offer support in other ways, such as physical and emotional support. REDRESS UK are ready to hear directly from torture survivors and also welcome contact from relatives of the torture survivor.
Overall, REDRESS UK take a more legal approach in helping torture survivors move on with their lives compared to similar outfits that focus on helping with lasting physical and psychological damage. They strive to make the recovery process easier by making those responsible face the law and call upon other groups to help with the other areas of the recovery process.
For people who want to acquire knowledge of torture and what can be legally done to help survivors, REDRESS UK provide an online course free of charge. The course is aimed at community organisations within the UK. The course will touch on the following:
- The concept of torture
- Seeking accountability for survivors
- Human rights that are useful to asylum seekers
The course is delivered through a series of webinars. Course participants can delve into more details on the topics they find most useful. The course takes around one to one-and-a-half hours but does not need to be completed in one sitting. A certificate can be requested upon completion of the e-learning package.
REDRESS UK rely on donations and fundraising to be able to provide legal assistance to their clients. To give back to the people that give, REDRESS reserves spots in well-known events so you can get involved and start fundraising for them. If you join Team REDRESS, they’ll provide you with support and a fundraising kit, including a training guide, a fundraising guide and a running vest.
The types of events they pre-enrol their fundraisers into include their local marathon – The London Marathon. They also get involved with the capital’s other races, such as the 10-kilometre run and The London Half Marathon. You can also raise money for REDRESS UK to help torture survivors in the UK by completing a fundraising task of your own.
Visit the REDRESS website to find out more information about their story and their cases. They have many online resources accessible on their website and you can donate to their cause of helping torture victims and torture survivors through legal means online.