The Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC) is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit human organization. TRC also aims to promote Human Rights in Palestine by researching and disseminating information regarding the plight of the torture victims. Through its highly expert and professional advocacy and research team, TRC has become a forerunner for the promotion and dissemination of information regarding human rights throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
TRC also works to reduce the traumatic and devastating physical and psychological consequences of torture and politically motivated violence, as well as the retaliatory behaviour of the victims through its Treatment and Rehabilitation Program. Through this, TRC offers the victims and their families’ comprehensive medical, psychiatric, physical, and psychosocial care –that is completely free of charge, in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. TRC also works to combat systematic torture and violence throughout the West Bank. It also aims to tackle the belief of impunity that often the perpetrators feel, as well as the complete feeling of hopelessness often experienced by the victims. It aims to do all this through its training, research and advocacy programs.
TRC was founded by by Dr Mahmud Sehwail- Consultant Psychiatrist- in 1997. The idea for the organization was born out of the violations committed by Israel in the 50 years they have occupied the Palestinian territories. Dr Mahmud noticed that the institutions designed to assist victims of torture were very lax in their expertise and knowledge. Dr Mahmud promoted the idea of the link between torture and the psychological traumas an individual can experience, he then began to implement his ideas – giving many victims a place to come and discuss and vent their problems for the first time. In the late 90’s TRC began to co-operate with other torture prevention organisations and after funding from the SDC was able to establish a board of trustees. It was then that TRC reputation and Palestine’s leading human rights organisation began to grow.
After the 2nd intifada in 2001, the political atmosphere changed greatly, and TRC work become a necessary tool to the welfare of many of Palestine’s citizens. It introduced its Advocacy and Research project that promoted not only TRC’s work but also the psychological affects that torture can have on an individual.
TRC has continued to grow, promoting its unique work throughout the whole of Palestine. Crucially, TRC has not become not only a leading player in the treatment and rehabilitation sector but also through its advocacy work – TRC has become a forerunner for advocacy, research and capacity building in the human rights field as a whole.