A&L Goodbody (ALG) introduced a new ‘signature project’ into their pro bono practice 18 months ago. Through their partnership with Spirasi, the centre of care for survivors of torture, their solicitors review medical legal reports as part of the international protection process. The project is unique in bringing together legal and medical expertise aimed at enhancing the quality of these reports and making a real difference to those who have suffered torture. In the last year their solicitors have reviewed over 100 medical reports.
On 26 June to mark UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture A&L Goodbody hosted an event in their offices in partnership with Spirasi. They welcomed survivors of torture, counsellors from Spirasi, medical professionals, representatives from UNHCR, the International Protection Office, Dept of Justice and civil society to come together as a mark of solidarity with those who have and continue to suffer torture. At the event they heard deeply moving and impactful first hand experiences from survivors of torture.
Speaking ahead of the event, Rory Halpin, Executive Director at Spirasi said ‘This is an occasion to highlight the ongoing atrocities perpetrated against human beings on a daily basis internationally, often with impunity. We in Spirasi also want to affirm that there is life after torture and that this begins when a victim’s right to rehabilitation is realised. Ireland has committed itself to the implementation of a vulnerability assessment which needs to be put in place as a matter of urgency. Only when victims are identified can rehabilitation begin.”
Spirasi is the only specialist centre in Ireland providing care and rehabilitation of survivors of torture and severe trauma. Since 2001 Spirasi has aided over 5,000 people in their recovery, enabling them to come to terms with their experiences and work towards self-reliance. For more information on the work they do click here www.spirasi.ie