Call for papers

Special section of Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture


Pau Pérez Sales - Editor-in-Chief, Torture Journal
Guest Editor: John Schiemann, Professor of Government and Politics, Fairleigh Dickinson University


Since the early summer of 2020, the world has seen a wave of protests against shootings and brutality by police and other law enforcement and security services across the world. As the focus of many of those protests make clear, it is an unfortunate truism that racism and ethnocentrism often play an important but complicated role in violence and torture by police and other law enforcement and security services, including at demonstrations and in other non-custodial settings. What connections between racism on the one hand and torture and inhumane treatment on the other have endured, have remained largely the same? What are new or dramatically changed and transformed relationships? What are the implications for torture prevention and the rehabilitation of victims of torture and other inhumane treatment?


The UN Convention against Torture specifically identifies “discrimination of any kind” as one of the examples it prohibits. In the spirit of a 2020 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council calling attention to excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers against Africans and of people of African descent against and the Journal’s own recent special section on migration and torture, the Torture Journal seeks to gather and disseminate legal, social scientific, psychological, and historical perspectives on the relationship between racism and ethnocentrism broadly defined and torture and inhumane treatment by police and other law enforcement and security services in order to better understand and reduce their prevalence.

Call for papers

Torture Journal encourages international and national studies with a social scientific, historical, psychological, or legal orientation, particularly those that are interdisciplinary with other fields of knowledge. We particularly encourage submissions from the Global South. We welcome papers taking a variety of perspectives and approaches, including, but not limited to, the following:

Identification of the conditions under which police and other law enforcement and security agencies are more likely to selectively target members of specific racial or ethnic groups for torture and inhumane treatment;

Study of the social psychological links between prejudice, racism and torture generally, as well as the influence of prejudice and racism on the criminal interviewing methods and coercive interrogations;

Exploration of how racism and ethnocentrism affects the type or nature or supposed purpose of torture and inhumane treatment by police and other law enforcement and security service units who engage in torture;

Investigation of how the above patterns have changed over time within and across regions, countries, political regimes, socio-economic conditions, and other sources of variation;

Examination of the relationship, if any, between social protest movements and reform efforts, and the effectiveness of torture prevention in contexts of racialized and ethnicised torture and inhumane treatment;

Analysis of the broader social effects, widely construed, of systematic racialized and ethnicised torture and inhumane treatment by police and other law enforcement and security services;

Inquiry into whether there are physical and/or psychological sequelae specific to racialized and ethnicised torture and inhumane treatment by police and security services on torture victims and what, if any, implications they have for victim rehabilitation treatment.

Deadline for submissions

30th DECEMBER, 2021

For more information

Contact Editor-in-chief ( and Guest-Editor ( if you wish to explore the suitability of a paper to the Special Section.

Submission guidelines and links

To make a submission, navigate here:

Author guidelines can be found here:

Read more about the Torture Journal here:

For general submission guidelines, please see the Torture Journal website. Papers will be selected on their relevance to the field, applicability, methodological rigor, and level of innovation.

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Current Issue

Vol. 31 No. 2 (2021): Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture
					View Vol. 31 No. 2 (2021): Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture

We present in this Issue 2021/2 the first 6 contributions of the special section on enforced disappearance as torture, while the remaining 4 will appear in Issue 2021/3. We thank the Guest Editors, Bernard Duhaime and Mariana Castilla, for their valuable contribution to the special section on enforced disappearances.

Manon Bourguignon at al. text analyses how grief is experienced by victims of such crimes who are endlessly confronted with uncertainty and exacerbated impunity. She makes a comparative analysis of the different conceptualisations used to describe the grief of relatives and proposes key elements that are common to all of them.

Nicolas Morales addresses the impact of inadequate investigations and reparation measures regarding enforced disappearances, which occurred in the region of Paine, in Chile, during the Pinochet dictatorship. He stresses the importance of first-person experiences of the relatives of the disappeared which make it possible to account for the subjective and collective dimension of forensic identification. He also discusses the importance of better understanding the intergenerational impacts of such crimes.

The concept of victimhood is analysed by Mina Rauschenbach et al. in their study dealing with the recognition of victims’ status in El Salvador and in Colombia, two countries in which enforced disappearances have occurred on a massive scale during internal armed conflicts. She considers how such status is legally defined in both countries and how it impacts their experiences in the judicial system.

Alejandra Vicente and Eva Nudd examine the importance of the phenomenon of disappearances in Africa, a region where this crime is underreported. The authors also describe the current discussions held by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on the topic, in particular the evolution of draft guidelines on enforced disappearances in Africa currently being developed by the Commission’s Working Group on Death Penalty, Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearance.

Aïcha Madi presents a case study of enforced disappearances in Algeria showing that the impact crosses more than one generation and remains as a hidden wound in society that needs to be addressed by all political actors.

Inamul Haq’s contribution discusses how enforced disappearances have impacted women in Kashmir, more specifically how the latter have been marginalised as “half widows”, lacking adequate rehabilitation measures to address the emotional and psychological trauma that they face on a daily basis.

This issue also includes three regular scientific papers not part of the special section. Ebbe Munk-Andersen et al. present the positive results of a structured questionnaire used for screening asylum-seekers in Denmark, Dongmi Kim et al. review the efficacy of pharmacotherapy for major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder from torture, showing the lack of strong evidence for any the treatments proposed. Karen Fondacaro et al. published in 2018 in Torture Journal a paper explaining the Chronic Traumatic Stress Framework as a conceptual model to guide empirical investigation and mental health treatment for refugees and survivors of torture. In this issue, they complement that paper with a second paper on Chronic Traumatic Stress Treatment.

Moreover, it is with great pleasure that we welcome a Forensic Case Series, a new section of the Torture Journal edited by Ben McVane and James Lin. Cases in this section may describe unique or uncommon physical and psychological findings, illustrate barriers to a thorough evaluation, or present features that make effective articulation of a survivor’s claim challenging. Case discussions aim to provide further information about findings or reflections on how challenges were approached. They also aim to address common misconceptions about the clinical evaluation and the experience of torture.

All together, this makes 160 pages, the longest issue in the history of the Journal. You, the readers and authors, are responsible for the increasing growth of Torture Journal: a home for all.

Published: 2021-10-20

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The Torture Journal is an international scientific journal that provides an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of original research and systematic reviews by professionals concerned with the biomedical, psychological and social interface of torture and the rehabilitation of its survivors.