The Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture “Empathy” was founded in 1996. It is one of the first non-profit, NGO-s in Georgia. Since 1996 Centre has successfully implemented number of projects that have received positive international feedback. The founders of the Center are professional doctor-psychiatrists and other society representatives, who’s System of Values was based on Principles of Democracy even in terms of “Soviet Union”.
Major achievements (results) of the Centre was published in several international and local scientific journals and presented on important international and local forums; Among them on X, XI XII World Congresses of Psychiatry (Madrid 1996, Hamburg 1999, Yokohama 2002 where the Centre’s President was elected as the member of World Psychiatrists’ Association, research section “Physiological Consequences of Torture and Persecution”) also on the VIII European Conference on Traumatic Stress. As well as was presented in years 2005, 2008 on World Psychiatric Congresses held in Cairo and Prague. Since 2008 the President of the RCT/EMPATHY is board member of the WPA mentioned above section.
The comprehensive psycho-social rehabilitation program and conception for prisoners and former prisoners has been elaborated by the Centre EMPATHY in 1998; the program has been gradually accomplished and presently, with cooperation of the Ministry of Justice, psycho-social rehabilitation Centre has been set up in Tbilisi Women’s Colony – first civilian structure in Penal System of Georgia.
In 2002 the conceptual program “National wide System of Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in Georgia” was elaborated by the Centre EMPATHY with partnership of PRI that is being carried out.
It must also be pointed out that the Centre “Empathy” is the first torture victims’ rehabilitation center in Caucasus region. This is also the first centre in FSU that has penetrated in the penitentiary system and included military conflict zones into its operation. Within the scope of PRI – ICRC trainings, It has elaborated and conducted training on medical ethics, UN international standards, EC Recommendations, Mental Health in Prison, diagnosis and rehabilitation of victims of torture, for prisons’ health care professionals. Since 2000 it has been included in the Torture Victims’ Rehabilitation Centres and Programmes Worldwide, and in 2002 has been accredited with IRCT.