Role and Mission
The Primo Levi Centre was created in 1995 by the French branches of Amnesty International and of Doctors of the world, the ecumenical NGO Against Torture and the Death Penalty: ACAT, “Juristes sans frontières”, and the “Trève” NGO. Today, the Primo Levi Centre is the most important organization in France specifically dedicated to the support and care of victims of torture and political violence seeking refuge in France.
The Primo Levi Centre
is a non-governmental organization recognized as being of public interest. Every year, the centre cares for more than 350 patients from over 40 countries. A multidisciplinary team of first contact staff, general practitioners, clinical psychologists, as well as lawyers and social workers provide support for these patients.
Since its creation, the organization has chosen to share its experience in the care of the trauma associated with torture and political violence. It offers various training tools to professionals working with asylum seekers.
The Primo Levi Centre also undertakes individual or collective advocacy and awareness actions. These actions aim to promote appropriate care for victims of torture and political violence and the defense of the right to asylum.
The Primo Levi Centre acts independently from political, state, or religious organizations.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
state the absolute prohibition of torture: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (Article 5).
Nevertheless, torture is still practiced in the world.
Men, women and children are forced to leave their country of origin because their lives are in danger. Torture, persecution, and political violence lead them to seek asylum abroad, including France.
In France, these people who have experienced exile through an often grueling journey, must face the inherent difficulties of arriving in an unknown foreign country.
They continue to live with the trauma caused by torture and political persecution. While some wounds are not visible anymore, other physical or psychological wounds persist.
Victims of torture and political violence cannot or do not wish to talk about their experiences. But we do know that silence reinforces the distress inherent to the effects of these practices.
It is therefore crucial to offer support and specific care to victims as specified in Article 14 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.