The recent spate of terrorist activities in many parts of the world has focused minds on a discussion of torture, and there is considerable legal and philosophical debate on the subject.
In order to assist those following – and participating in – the debate, Foundation House has prepared this paper as a resource. As well as extensive references, it provides a range of resources and web links for readers to access in pursuing further information and keeping up to date with new developments.
This paper outlines the key issues including:
- international definitions of torture and ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment’ (CID)
- where and how torture is currently being used
- the effects of torture on victims, their families and communities
- international laws prohibiting torture
- the debate about whether torture should be legalised in certain circumstances (such as dealing with terrorist suspects)
Foundation House has been working in this field since 1987, providing a range of services to refugees who have survived torture or war related trauma.
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc, 2007, Perspectives on Torture: the law, the effects, the debate, VFST, Melbourne