NANSEN informs, supports and assists victims of torture in the asylum procedure.
NANSEN observes that an important number of applicants for international protection became victims of torture in their country of origin or during their flight to Belgium.
NANSEN provides specialised support to victims of torture as they may face particular difficulties in demonstrating their need for international protection, due to their vulnerable profile.
There is no clear-cut definition of torture in international law. Most actors agree that the following four elements are present when talking about torture:
- The act is intended or planned.
- The act causes severe pain or suffering, both physically and mentally.
- The perpetrator represents a public authority or acts with the (explicit or implicit) consent of that authority.
- The act is committed for a specific purpose: obtaining information, forcing a confession, terrorising, punishing, violating integrity.
Read here the full explanation to understand how we work.
If you think you are a victim of torture, or if you are accompanying someone who is a potential victim of torture, please contact
- Marjan Claes and NANSEN for individual legal assistance during the asylum procedure or for questions related to administrative detention.
- CONSTATS for a medical and psychological examination and, if necessary, the preparation of a comprehensive medical-forensic report (in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol guidelines)
- ULYSSE SSM and SOLENTRA for psychologic or psychiatric counselling specialized in trauma counselling
- GAMS for specific guidance in case of female genital mutilation and other violence committed against women
- IRCT for support and access to rehabilitation services
To learn more about the prohibition of torture in international law:
- Council of Europe Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Council of Europe European Convention on Human Rights (art. 3)
- European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (art. 4)
Why «NANSEN» ?
Fridtjof Nansen was the first High Commissioner for Refugees of the League of Nations. In 1922, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless commitment to refugees. That is why our expertise centre bears his name.