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As required under the international and domestic instruments of human rights every torture survivor has the right to medical, psychological and social rehabilitation. Detainees after suffering cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, face different physiological, psychological after affects together with socio-economic problems of umpteenth nature. For their reintegration in society as normal citizen with enhanced self esteem, HDO offer these primary victims medical care, psychotherapeutic support, socio-economic reintegration and legal assistance. Applying different therapeutic techniques and approaches over 300 torture survivors (primary) and 200 secondary level victims receive rehabilitation services annually.

Physiological sequel and Rehabilitation:

Most common health consequences of torture are fever, body ach, loss of appetite, disturbed blood pressure, disturbed motor behavior, kidney, stomach pain, bruises, abrasion, and minor to major injuries on body parts, urinary tract infection, bleeding in urine and stool.

For acute physical problems the clients are offered on spot free of cost medical examination and healthcare facilities/medicines both inside the jails and at HDO’s Centre for Rehabilitation & Legal assistance for Torture Victims (CRLTV) while those suffering from chronic medical problems are referred to public sector hospitals for tertiary care.   

Neurological Impacts and Rehabilitation: Headache, vertigo, dizziness, stiffness of limbs and muscles, paralysis of muscles, memory and vision loss (both temporary and permanent). Together with medication (if needed) the TVs are offered physiotherapy and helped taking part in different physical relaxation exercises and sports after initial treatment that serves as therapy both for their physical as well as psychological rehabilitation.

Psychological impacts and Rehabilitation:  

The detainees after undergoing maltreatment during police custody suffer from feelings of humiliation, deceit, depression, nightmares, disturbed sleep and appetite, suicidal ideations, violent behavior, delusion & hallucination etc. HDO’s eight years working experience indicate that such clients when left unattended and untreated serve as one of the contributing factors of criminal activities like drug addiction and peddling, domestic violence and child abuse etc. This category of survivors also promotes recidivism and become contributing factor behind poverty which is both cause and effect of torture.

To help them returning to normal life with restored dignity, HDO’s psychologists and trained counselors after registration process both at jail and Centre level, follow treatment plan for extending psycho-therapeutic services by applying different technique and therapies. Free medication is also offered if needed and duly recommended by care providers.

Socio-economic reintegration of torture survivors:  

Majority of torture victims become economically inactive after suffering different physiological and psychological consequences which, ultimately not only contribute towards poverty within their families and society at large but also encourage recidivism among them. Apart from education services, the registered TVs are taught different skills for their economic empowerment. Dress making and designing, embroidery work and handicrafts, bead work (plait, purse, cell phone covers, jewelry etc) are the common skills these TVs are helped learning during detention period.

Women incarcerators are provided training of embroidery work, dress making, beautician courses. HDO’s this initiative aims to help the demoralized survivors of custodial abuses reintegrating with their families and society with dignity and becoming economically self dependent.

They are linked to the local market, enabling to support their expenses incurring on litigation, medication and nutritious food of their choice.  

Computer Literacy Program for Women Prisoners

As part of HDO’s economic empowerment initiative for torture survivors, it has launched Computer Literacy Program for women inmates of Haripur jail two years back. The enrolled women and their minor accompanying children are taught the basics of computer, MS word, MS excel, Power point, painting, in page etc. Following its successful functioning and response from beneficiaries the HDO is going to establish another Computer literacy Centre in the adolescent section of Haripur jail shortly.

English Language Course: For reintegrating the TVs in families and society with restored dignity and skills guaranteeing their economic empowerment, HDO has also launched English Language Course for the juvenile and adolescent inmates of Haripur jail which is first of its nature across the province. The qualified teaching staff helps the enrolled TVs developing spoken and written English language proficiency enabling them to use this globally acknowledged skill for their economic benefits during post detention life.  

Sport Activities

HDO also encourage and facilitate different sports activities for making the juvenile and adolescent inmates, engaged in constructive activities as part of rehabilitation program. Cricket, football, volleyball and table tennis matches between the inmates are arranged inside the jail on weekly basis.

Gender based violence & Rehabilitation  

Discrimination based on gender is a crime most common in our society and the women are denied of their rights from family to society level one or the other way. Their deprivation from inviolable rights to equal respect and human dignity often expose them to physical and mental harms that prove detrimental to their socio-economic development. Forced and child marriages, domestic violence, honor killing, vani, rape, acid throwing, abductions, deprivation from right of inheritance and other marital/family nature disputes are few to name among the gross human rights violations that the women folk of this region frequently face.  

HDO, besides advocating for the rights of women at different forums, offer free of cost services to survivors of violence through its Center for Rehabilitation & legal Assistance of Trauma Victims (CRLTV). These women are helped in challenging their perpetrators in the court of law through free legal aid kiosk.

HDO’s medical teams provide free treatment facilities to those in need of healthcare while the victims with psychological complications are treated and reintegrated into society by experienced psychologists and counselors.

Child abuse & Rehabilitation

Like torture and gender based violence the child abuse is also widespread and the children are vulnerable to abuses of different kinds and nature. Corporal punishment in school setting, child labor, under age marriages, becoming vani and sexual assaults are the rampant crime against children. HDO offer psycho-medical rehabilitation facilities to these children at CRLTV while group of legal experts including women lawyers provide free of cost legal services to the victims.

Skill development for violence victims

Women victims of violence are exposed to double trauma in our society. In most of cases they are deserted by families due to social stigmas attached to becoming victim of violence while on the other hand they desist from engaging in costly and irksomely long litigation process owing to financial constraints, lack of access to psycho-social services and above all awareness about their rights.

Having no moral or financial support both at family and state level, these victims develop different psychological complications including, deviant behavior, drug addiction, suicidal thoughts and falling in the trap of criminal gangs. For their economic self-dependence and enabling them to bear the expenses of their litigations, HDO facilitate such women getting vocational training of different duration. These courses include: dress making, designing, textile designing, embroidery work, art and craft beautician and computer courses.   


Afzal Abad, Central Jail Road, Haripur, KPK, Pakistan														(C) Human Development Organization