Making the State Pay: Mobilizing Public Resources for Victims of Human Rights Violations

A patient in the dentist's chairThe ICAR Foundation mobilized public resources for a socially marginalized group – victims of torture. The Foundation recognized that many citizens had suffered torture during the communist regime, and created an organization to provide treatment and care to the thousands of torture survivors. While there was international support, the Foundation knew that provision of this care was actually the responsibility of the state itself. The notebook outlines ICAR’s effort to pressure the Romanian government to pay for rehabilitation of torture survivors even though it was not willing to officially assume responsibility for past abuses. In effect, ICAR forced the state to begin to fulfill its moral and legal responsibilities as laid out in international and national laws. ICAR’s story provides ideas about how to pressure a state to carry out its obligations to a socially marginalized group and compel it to take a step toward justice.

Year of Publication: 2003
Author(s): Camelia Doru

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