Rarely do countries have special funding for care structures for torture victims who often are in need of financial, social, medical and psychological help after release. Practically all victims suffer from multiple mental and physical sequelae to torture that prevent them from leading normal lives at work and at home. The immediate and long-term effects of physical and psychological abuse are oppressive: suicide is a not uncommon result of torture, either in prison to avoid further pain or after release due to the suffering that persists. The after-effects are felt by the families of the victims as well; they are often unqualified to give proper support and care. Because of their fear, some torture victims simply do not request medical help.
By 1992, only 3 centres for torture victims could be found worldwide, including one in Minneapolis, Copenhagen and Toronto.
Torture has become a world epidemic but at present there is no mechanism to compensate the victims and punish the torturers. Too often the attitude of governments is not to make waves, lest trade with abusers of human rights should be jeopardized.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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