Freedom from Torture supports people who have survived torture to heal, feel safe and strong again.
Our vision is a world free from torture. We aim to ensure that the human rights of survivors are restored through rehabilitation and protection. We fight to ensure that states responsible for torture are held to account.
The experiences of people who have survived torture drive and inform everything we do. Survivors play a leading role in designing, delivering and evaluating our work and their input is vital for improving our services and how we do our work.
Our therapists work with survivors to rebuild their physical and mental health. Our doctors document evidence of torture, and our lawyers and welfare advisors help survivors with their asylum cases and social support. We also support other organisations delivering high-quality rehabilitation services.
Together, we speak out to expose torture and defend the rights of survivors, nationally and globally. We hold torturing governments to account. And we campaign for women, men and children to be treated fairly when they seek safety in the UK after being tortured.
We are able to do it all because we are backed by an active movement of compassionate, outspoken supporters. And as our movements for social justice gain ground globally, it matters more than ever that people with direct experience of torture are leading our common calls for change.
Freedom from Torture was founded on Christmas Eve 1985 by Helen Bamber and Amnesty International volunteers for the Care of Victims of Torture. Prior to this, there were few services available for people that had survived torture. For over 30 years, through our services, we have been helping survivors overcome their torture and live better, happier lives. We use the expertise and evidence gained from our direct work with torture survivors to expose torture practices across the world.
What we stand for
We stand with anyone, anywhere, who has survived torture.
We believe in offering safety to people who risk being tortured elsewhere. We are committed to tackling structural inequality and promoting diversity and inclusion in all of our work to achieve a world free from torture. This includes facing up to the pervasive racism built into our immigration system, our public institutions and our history books.
We are committed to survivor leadership in the fight against torture. And by recognising our diversity as our biggest strength, we are becoming a truly inclusive movement.
Since our inception, we have supported thousands of torture survivors. Compared to the previous year, in 2022 we helped 18% more torture survivors to heal and feel safe and strong again via our therapy services. Through our clinical services, we provide life-changing support for hundreds of men, women and children who have survived physical and psychological torture.
At Freedom from Torture, we campaign for better treatment of torture survivors in the UK. Backed by thousands of supporters, our award-winning Stop the Flights campaign forced airline Privilege Style to back out of the government’s cruel Rwanda refugee expulsion scheme.
We also drive positive change through our strategic litigation work. Following one of our legal challenges, an estimated 45,000 people who crossed the Channel in 2022 were not exposed to the heartless policy of turning back migrant boats, potentially saving thousands of lives.
Values guiding our work
- Compassion: We understand suffering and work together to end it
- Empowerment: We unlock strength and help people move from passive to active
- Resolve: We never give up, no matter what
- Hope: We know things can change for the better