Survivors of Torture Present Manifesto with Recommendations to the UK government

Today, survivors of torture voiced their needs and priorities to UK parliamentarians and the UK government, during an event in the House of Lords, where they presented a manifesto with their recommendations on how to improve access to justice, accountability and reparations for survivors.  

The Survivors of Torture Manifesto followed a consultation undertaken by REDRESS last year, which sought the views of UK-based survivors of torture and their family members on what justice means to them in practice, why it was important, and what were their key barriers to achieving justice within the UK. The report further asked to reflect on the existing five forms of reparation in relation to torture under international law: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-repetition. The findings of this consultation were collated in the report Whose Justice? Reflections from UK-based survivors of torture, published last year. 

The report identified a series of recommendations to the UK government to improve access to justice, accountability, and reparation for survivors of torture. Through further consultation with survivors between October and December 2022, the survivors developed the Survivors of Torture Manifesto with recommendations to the UK government.  

The Survivors of Torture Manifesto calls on the UK government to: 

  • Uphold the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment and act as a global leader in ending all forms of torture and ill-treatment abroad 
  • Place the voices and perspectives of survivors of torture at the centre of UK national and international policy on justice and reparations and recognise survivors as experts by experience. 
  • Review law and practice to remove barriers to accountability through the use of universal jurisdiction. 
  • Improve the use of Magnitsky sanctions as a tool in preventing torture and holding perpetrators accountable.   
  • Enshrine in law the right to consular assistance for all British nationals detained abroad at risk of torture, cruel, and inhuman or degrading treatment, including those with dual nationality. 
  • Improve the provision of centralised, comprehensive and accessible information on support services, including referral pathways, and resources available to survivors of torture in the UK.  
  • Substantially increase dedicated resourcing available for rehabilitation for UK-based survivors of torture. 
  • End the UK’s ‘hostile environment’ asylum policy and replace it with an immigration system that treats asylum seekers with dignity and respect and processes applications efficiently in order to avoid prolonging distress.

Read the full Manifesto