Story, Mission, Vision

About ARCT 20-years history

The Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture (ARCT) is operating in Albania since 1995, designing and implementing programs aiming to contribute in building a democratic society without use of torture in a country where strong political persecution has been seen for a long, almost 50 years period of the 20th century.

Lessons from the past is worth learning, especially if they call for a special attention towards respect for human rights and human dignity- this has been, and still is, one of the basic assumptions of ARCT engagement in offering Rehabilitation of torture victims services (combined with scrupulous documentation of violation practices and human suffering) as well as Prevention of Torture programs (reporting periodically to International agencies/organizations on the situation of torture in the country, training for police and health staff in prison, pre-detention places, psychiatric hospitals, educational system), providing assistance and a window of opportunities for this target group. These initiatives are made possible through support of donors such as the UNVFVT, DIGNITY, Open Society Institute (currently, ongoing).

As a representative of the Albanian civil society, ARCT is operating in a field where international support is yet vital for the continuity of work, as state institutions are often indifferent or even against (openly or hidden ) human rights organizations. Through such international support ARCT has been able to influence directly in a number of areas:

offering services to a large number of torture victims in the country (more than 3000 individuals) contributing to a better life (although yet very difficult) of a defined social group“ former political persecuted influencing on national legal frame, besides other, in regard to:

Service and treatment of inmates in prisons and pre-detention facilities

Service and treatment of individuals in psychiatric hospitals and forensic psychiatry facilities

Social Integration of former political persecuted

ARCT represents a concrete opportunity for studies/ research/ surveys, lobbying and advocacy initiatives, training and public events through its staff: there is a team of 2 lawyers (MAs in European and international studies); 2 medical doctors, 3 psychologists (PHD in mental health); 2 social workers; 2 financial managers and other part-time experts, academics, diplomats and journalists.