The Medical Action Group facilitated a workshop titled, “Ensuring Access to Health of Victims of Human RIghts Violations in the Primary Healthcare Settings”, and was held December 3-4, 2018 in Manila City. 

The purpose of the workshop was to develop guidelines on recognizing and identifying cases of human rights violations in all levels of care. Workshop participants represented a broad array of health professionals, including municipal health officers, rural health doctors, government hospital doctors, emergency medicine doctors, and representatives from the Department of Health. The workshop was anchored in the Istanbul Protocol and the 4Rs of torture (recognition, recording, reporting, and referral).

The workshop included: an overview of International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT); case studies on identifying torture victims in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia; the guidelines of the DOH on the administrative order on implementation of the Anti Torture Law and the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Law. 

On terms of recognition, the workshop arrived at the following agreements: (1) All levels of care including the rural health unit (RHU), emergency medicine services (EMS), and hospital (public or private) will implement the guidelines on recognition of victims of torture or HRVs; (2) An algorithm was developed on how to receive, document, and treat a patient; (3) Parameters were formulated for identification of victims of torture and human rights violations (HRVs); (4) In case the survivor/victim admit/confess a case of torture, Istanbul Protocol will be used; and (5) In case the survivor/victim do not admit yet falls under two or more parameter, Istanbul Protocol will be utilized. 

On the reporting and referral, a one-page rapid assessment form was developed for history taking, in case the doctor or municipal health officer is not present.