Pau Pérez-Sales, Editor-in-Chief
Berta Soley Daró, Guest Editor & Editorial Associate


There is an on-going discussion about the need for a holistic approach to torture rehabilitation, claiming that psychosocial and medical services are not effective if basic needs remain uncovered. Mental and physical health has been a primary focus of rehabilitation programmes, but many found that progress was difficult to maintain without socio-economic support as well. Survivors still have households to feed, battled unemployment and disabilities caused by the atrocities committed against them.

Recognising the complexity and inter-connectivity of social, economic, medical and psychological sequelae of torture, where one aspect can negatively or positively affect the other, this special edition of the Torture Journal seeks to explore how the integration of rebuilding a life project and the livelihood’s component can influence rehabilitation processes. Indeed, additional academic contributions are required to better understand how healing processes can be enhanced by including socio-economic support in rehabilitation programmes.

Call for papers

The Torture Journal encourages authors to submit papers with a psychological, medical or legal orientation, particularly those that are interdisciplinary with other fields of knowledge. We welcome papers on the following:

  1. Defining livelihoods and its relationship with the concept of development in the context of the work with torture survivors. Going beyond a definition centred in material outcomes and working with the idea of life projects and finding meaning as part of the work with torture survivors.
  2. Survivor participation in the design and implementation of livelihoods programs
  3. Innovative experiences in livelihoods programs: evolving from a business perspective to livelihoods programmes for social change.
  4. Transcending the individual or family perspective: from cooperatives to collective forms of organisation in livelihoods programmes.
  5. Beyond vulnerability: innovative approaches to resource allocation in precarious environments.
  6. Ensuring sustainability of livelihood programs. The role of the State and civil society.
  7. Working in unstable contexts: livelihoods programs under conflict situations.
  8. Barriers to livelihoods programmes: limitations to work and employment integration in asylum seekers and refugees.
  9. Transnational experiences connecting refugees, relatives and comrades in the country of origin.
  10. Effects on the overall well-being and quality of life resulting from the integration of a socioeconomic component into the rehabilitation processes.



Pau Pérez Sales, Editor-in-Chief, Torture Journal

About the call

This call for papers aims to examine prisons and other detention facilities (immigration detention centres, juvenile detention centres, etc) as torturing environments

Torture Journal encourages authors to submit papers with a psychological, medical or legal orientation, particularly those that are interdisciplinary with other fields of knowledge. We welcome contributions related (but not limited) to:

  1. Conditions of detention as environments of torture: overcrowding, food, inhuman treatment, etc.
  2. Carceral geographies: emotional cartographies in detention spaces.
  3. Impacts of isolation and closed regime units. Alternatives.
  4. Use of mechanical restraints, chemical restraints and other methods of control and coercion. Intervention programs to abolish restraints.
  5. Challenges of forensic documentation in prisons and other closed institutions.
  6. Studies on reprisals against persons deprived of their liberty following monitoring visits to investigate allegations of torture.
  7. Violent institutional cultures. Generating and perpetuating factors, and intervention programmes on violent milieus.
  8. Violence by other inmates and staff. Methods of detection and prevention.
  9. Effectiveness of torture prevention measures: videotaping, civil-society monitoring, medical documentation of injuries and others
  10. Sexual torture and abuse in closed institutions.
  11. Short or adapted forms of the Istanbul Protocol for documenting torture during monitoring visits or short-time evaluations in closed institutions.
  12. Self-harm and suicide. Self-inflicted violence in closed institutions.
  13. Severe Mental Illness and Torture in closed institutions.
  14. Legal contours of torture in detention centres: legal reviews with a special focus on the intentionality and purpose criteria


Submission guidelines and links

For more information

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

About the Torture Journal

Please go to our website ( devoted to Torture Journal readers and contributors – to access the latest and archived issues

Read more about CALLING FOR PAPERS!

Current Issue

Vol. 33 No. 2 (2023): Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitaiton of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture
					View Vol. 33 No. 2 (2023): Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitaiton of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture

Pau Pérez-Sales introduces this issue with an Editorial that provides us with a background of the origins of survivor engagement being historically implemented in the Global South.

The Editorial is followed by the Special Section on Survivor Engagement in the Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors.

Susan Wyatt opens the section with a paper that reflects on the notions of restoring power or ‘agency’ to survivors, discussing different conceptual frameworks and pathways for effective and strategic mechanisms for facilitating ‘agency’ within the spectrum of torture rehabilitation.

Einolf et al. presents a qualitative study that explores current practices, best practices, and the advantages and disadvantages of engaging survivors in the direction and provision of rehabilitation services. It discusses the risks of re-traumatization and presents practices that involve engaging survivors in ways that do not instigate their trauma.

Moreover, Mikel Soto, presents the survivor-lead experience of the Network of Tortured People of Navarre and analyses the keys to this process of collective empowerment, describing the self-organising process of the victims and some lessons that may be useful for other realities and groups of torture victims who want to engage in self-organising processes.

Henceforth, Seini O’Connor and colleagues contribute to the special section with three articles. The first one describes TASSC’s model for engaging survivors in advocacy and presents evidence on the personal impacts such engagement can have. The second one looks at the characteristics of survivors who engage in advocacy in comparison with those who do not. The third one explores survivor engagement in the form of cultural facilitation, drawing on a case example of cultural bridging involving a pilot programme to train torture survivors and former refugees to become cross-cultural facilitators supporting mental health services for displaced communities.

The special section is closed with the contribution from Rachel Hoare, further expanding on the benefits of the befriending programme within Spirasi’s holistic approach and the importance of collaborative expressive arts activities in building befriending relationships. She does that through an empirical study that explores, in complementary ways, the impact of this befriending programme on befrienders and befriendees and incorporates their voices into recommendations for optimising the service.

The perspective section, entails three contributions.

José Quiroga and Ana Deutsch share their personal memories to describe and reconstruct the journey to the development of forensic torture assessment tools, before the existence of the Istanbul Protocol. They review the historical precedents of the Forensic Assessment of Torture Survivors in the US in the 1970s and 1980s, the first model of affidavit developed in Los Angeles, setting the precedents of the US branch of the construction of the Istanbul Protocol that was developed in the late 1990s.

Christian DeVos and colleagues explore extra-carceral governmental actions that constitute torture or ill treatment of socially and economically marginalized populations, advocating for a more contextual approach to the understanding of what constitutes torture or ill treatment, and, consequently, a more expansive interpretation of states’ obligations to prohibit and prevent it under international law. Building on examples that unsettle the conventional understanding of torture focused on carceral and custodial settings, they also offer recommendations for how clinicians and health and human rights researchers, can better elucidate the links among torture, poverty, and vulnerability to hold perpetrators accountable and help states develop laws, policies, and other measures to prevent the perpetration of state-promoted or sanctioned acts of torture or ill treatment. 

Daniel Weishut and colleagues present their insights about the use of the Istanbul Protocol in Israel, as collected by a group of experts in the documentation of torture and ill-treatment, at the reception of the revised (2022) version.

This is followed by a book review by Giulia Berta of the volume Migration and Torture in Today’s World, curated by Fabio Perocco and published by Ca’ Foscari Editions in 2023.

This issue also announces Dr. Mahmud Sehwail’s paper “Personal reflection” as the winner of the 2022 CTI Prize, after being the most voted by the IRCT membership and the Torture Journal readership. Congratulations, Dr. Mahmud!

Finally, this issue is concluded with the forthcoming call for papers for the special sections on Livelihoods and Prisons, in which we encourage you all to submit papers, in case you have relevant research and/or experiences to share in these areas.

You, the readers and authors, are responsible for the increasing growth of Torture Journal: a home for all.

We would like to especially thank the authors for their excellent work and contribution to the Torture Journal, and OSSTT and STARTTS for their valuable continued support.

Published: 2023-08-08

Full Issue

Special Section: Survivor Engagement in Rehabilitation

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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.