Theme: “Mainstreaming Human Rights in Public Health”

A violation of one’s right demands for a remedy.

Torture is one of the gravest forms of human rights violation. . It is a deliberate act of cruelty by inflicting severe physical and emotional sufferings against any persons.

The right to torture rehabilitation is an integral part of the right to reparation. This recognizes that emotional trauma is much worse than physical injury. Torture victims desperately need help to mend their shattered bodies and mind from their traumatic experiences .It is said that once tortured is tortured for life.

In order to consolidate existing efforts to address torture and its ill-effects, the Health Facilities Development Bureau of the Department of Health (DoH) in partnership with the Medical Action Group will hold a Scientific Conference on Torture Rehabilitation on November 11 & 12, 2015 at Ciudad Christhia, San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines.

A. The Scientific Conference on Torture Rehabilitation

The Conference will bring together key stakeholders from the health sector in public and private to share knowledge and experiences in addressing torture and for the effective delivery of rehabilitation services.

It specifically aims to achieve the following objectives:

(1) To bring provide information to health professionals particularly the DOH doctors as well as the provincial, city and municipal health officers on their roles and obligations under the Republic Act No. 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law;

(2) To increase the knowledge of the abovementioned medical practitioners on the identification and documentation of of torture using the Istanbul Protocol which contains international guidelines, procedures and protocols in documenting torture to serve as valid evidence in court;

(3) To acquaint the same with the current gaps and challenges in medical documentation of torture;

(4) To promote understanding of the psychological effects of torture;

(5) To disseminate knowledge on the principles and strategies applied for the rehabilitation services of torture victims and their families; and

(6) To disseminate knowledge on the legal protection of victims and medical service providers.

There are five thematic sessions covering the following topics:

Topic 1: Mainstreaming of Human Rights Program in Public Health

The session will provide the existing health policy and program of the Department of Health that are guided by human rights standards and principles under international and domestic human rights laws and aim at developing capacity of the Philippine government to meet their obligations and empowering victims of human rights violations to effectively avail for their health rights.

Topic 2: Legal obligation of Health Sector under existing human rights laws

The session will introduce the meaning of “as full rehabilitation as possible” from the health and legal perspectives, exploring the obligations of states in this regard under Article 14 of the Convention against Torture. It will outline the scope of holistic rehabilitation, highlighting the importance of early rehabilitation responses to torture.

Topic 3: Preventing torture through medical documentation

The session will show how medical documentation is useful for health professionals to prove torture through careful and thorough examination of its physical and psychological effect, and to establish crucial medical findings to serve as evidence in court.

Topic 4: Right to Rehabilitation and Public Health

The session will provide the normative framework of the right to rehabilitation as a means to restore the victim’s independence, physical, mental, social and vocational ability; full inclusion and participation in society; and the acquisition of new skills required by the changed circumstances of a victim in the aftermath of torture or ill-treatment.

Topic 5: Providing Legal Protection for Health Professionals

This session will focus on the need to provide institutional support for the well-being of health professionals who are the first responders on possible cases of torture cases and are vulnerable to any form of intimidation, harassment, pressure and reprisal from alleged perpetrators.

B. A Call for a Presentation

The Conference is open for presentations of case studies, researches or reports on torture.

1. Any interested individual who has ample experience in medical documentation and rehabilitation of torture victims should submit a visual presentation of the research abstract or report summary to be displayed during the Conference.

2. The presentation should be submitted to the Department of Health and/ or to Medical Action Group on or before 31 October, 2015 at following contact details:

Address to: Ms. Edeliza Hernandez, RN

MAG Executive Director

Mailing Address: # 20 Road 9, Project 6, Quezon City, Philippines

Dr. Ma. Corazon Lucia V. Teoxon

Medical Officer V

Health Facility Development Bureau

Department of Health

Mailing Address: San Lazaro Compound, Santa Cruz, Manila, Metro Manila

For further details please visit MAG website at and facebook or follow us on twitter or you may call us at  (632) 454.7513 and look for Mr. Darwin Mendiola, MAG Project Officer.