A Philippine Human Rights NGO providing Psychosocial Services and Rehabilitation to Internally Displaced Persons and Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence.

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Torture Survivors association marks 5 years in advocating for the rights of ex-political detainees

Balay Rehabilitation Center participated in the third general assembly of the Ex-Political Detainees Initiative (XD-Initiative) held in the Commission on Human Rights last July 8, 2017. The association is composed of torture survivors and former political detainees.

The XD Initiative, which initially counts 10 members when it was first established in 2012, is the first torture survivors association in the Philippines to access livelihood support from the rehabilitation program for torture victims of the government. The association has now reached 35 active members.

Balay executive director Josephine Lascano expressed her support to the association through a solidarity message. “We pay tribute to the commitment and effort of XD-Initiative members in putting forward the welfare of the ex-political detainees through the establishment of the association back in 2012” Lascano said.

Lascano also emphasized the participation of XD-Initiative members in various efforts conducted by different groups and organizations advocating for human rights. “Since its inception, XD-Initiative members became an active group supporting not just the rights of ex-political detainees and political prisoners but at the same time the advocacies in upholding human rights and dignity for every citizen.”

Balay has partnered with the association in its holistic approach to rehabilitation of torture victims. Many of its members have attended individual and group counseling sessions and participated in therapeutic testimonial ceremonies organized by Balay.

Balay has also accompanied them in accessing their right to rehabilitation from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and has provided them with entrepreneurial trainings and inputs on organizational management to enrich their capability in managing their projects.