“Time for Needs: Listening, Healing, Protecting”. A Joint Action for an Appropriate Assessment of Special Needs of Victims of Torture and Violence

“Time for Needs: Listening, Healing, Protecting”.

A Joint Action for an Appropriate Assessment of Special Needs of Victims of Torture and Violence

HOME/2014/AMIF/AG/ASYL/7836 – Co-funded by the European Union

The Mediterranean Sea has become the deadliest routes worldwide: 3.654 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean of 4,899 deaths recorded worldwide in 2016 (data IOM published 20 October 2016). States with maritime external borders are under daily pressure due to continuous high numbers of arrivals by sea, posing crucial challenges in providing adequate reception specialized services and procedural safeguards for vulnerable asylum seekers. Among the “boat people” there is a consistent number of victims of torture and of any sort of violence experienced not only in their home countries, but also in transit countries, in the desert and in the Mediterranean sea. It is generally estimated that between 5 and 35 percent of asylum seekers are torture survivors. Post Traumatic Stress Disorders can range from 20-40 percent, while depression rates can vary from 30-70 percent of refugee population.

With the Time for needs project we want to contribute to the identification of special needs of victims of torture and of extreme violence, in particular women and children, related to the asylum procedures as well as the reception conditions and to the development of harmonized protection standards and practices across the European Union for this vulnerable target group.

The project, ending in July 2017, involves 7 partners in 6 countries: CIR in ITALY (the Leading Agency), ADITUS in MALTA, CPR in PORTUGAL, ECRE in BELGIUM, FTDA in France, the GCR in GREECE and the Zentrum ÜBERLEBEN gGmbH in GERMANY.

With this project we want to facilitate the improvement of the efficiency and the fairness both of the asylum system and the standard of protection of victims of torture and extreme violence, enhancing the level of procedural guarantees and tailored reception services for the target group.

To reach this goal, we will carry out a research work, at national and international level through national reports, focus groups, qualitative interviews and expert meetings, but we will also develop a pilot initiative, aimed at developing and disseminating a tested practical tool for the assessment of needs of victims of torture and extreme violence. A victim-centered and gender-based approach will be adopted to elaborate this tools, thanks to the active involvement of the final beneficiaries in the whole project.

We will also identificate best practices on legislative provisions and practices in the participating countries regarding identification, procedural guarantees and reception facilities with respect to the target groups, and identification of possible gaps between the EU Directives and the domestic laws.

Based on this practices and the research results we will elaborate common basic standards for the assessments of vulnerability in terms of procedural and reception needs applicable throughout the EU.

To maximize our impact we will share our results through awareness-raising and advocacy activities, organising events and involving key players at the national and European level.