Following his release in 1984, Keith Carmichael consulted numerous experts and organisations with extensive experience in human rights and the law about how to go about seeking reparation for torture. He also met with many other survivors whom, like him, wanted to seek redress but did not know how to go about it.
Keith concluded that while the right to reparation existed in law, the practical difficulties in obtaining reparation proved difficult to overcome for most survivors like him.
The concept for REDRESS
The concept for REDRESS was developed in consultation with the late Peter Davies OBE, former Director of Anti-Slavery International; Dame Rosalyn Higgins QC; Leah Levin OBE, former Director of Justice, and Professor David Weissbrodt, who shared the same interest in seeking ways of obtaining reparation for victims of torture.
The idea was discussed further at the IV International Symposium on Torture and the Medical Profession held in October 1991 in Budapest, and again at the Symposium on Human Rights and Development in December 1991 in Manila. The conclusion was that there was a need for such a specialised organisation and REDRESS was registered as a charity in the United Kingdom in December 1992.
25 years later, REDRESS continues to pursue its mission by helping survivors obtain justice and reparation; advocating governments and other policy makers on the need to respect the absolute prohibition on torture and collaborating with like-minded organisations around the world to end impunity and eradicate the practice of torture worldwide.
On 7 September 2016, REDRESS Nederland was established in The Hague. The new organisation builds on REDRESS’ extensive experience of collaborating with the International Criminal Court and other international justice institutions on issues such as victim participation and reparation in criminal trials.
While REDRESS’ mission is the same in London and the Netherlands, REDRESS Nederland has a structure that is independent of REDRESS London; it is a separately constituted organisation.