Rehabilitation is difficult for asylum seekers who haven't yet heard the official decision on their asylum request. It is especially difficult for those who had to make clear that they were victims of torture. For this group, July 20th 2015 marked an important day since it implied the introduction of a medical examination in the standardized European Asylum Procedure. According to Art. Eighteen member States shall arrange for a medical examination of the applicant (or the applicant may arrange it himself) concerning signs that might indicate serious harm. Either way the result shall be submitted to the determining authority.
Unlike forensic medical expertise in other legal areas, a standardized examination and training of professionals accordingly, does not exist for medico-legal reports for asylum-seekers. In most countries, medical professionals who deliver these medico-legal reports are trained within NGOs. They all developed their own methods, standards and reports. Most of them work according to the Istanbul Protocol as the principal guideline along which the medical examinations should be performed. However, this implies a rather extensive and time-consuming medical examination.
Is it possible to design a medical examination which is robust and at the same time does not take days to deliver? In this workshop experts (medical professionals and legal experts) from different asylum seeker receiving countries (i.e. France, Hungary, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) will bring forward and discuss the minimum standards along which to perform a medical examination within the asylum procedure that is robust, efficient and in compliance with the Istanbul Protocol. Much attention will be given to the qualifications of the medical professionals who perform these examinations, their necessary training and the way in which these reports should be evaluated. The reception of shorter medico-legal reports by the determining authorities will also be discussed.
Discussing the practice and consequences of a short medical examination at the beginning of an asylum procedure with the audience.
The necessary start of an international discussion amongst (forensic) medical experts within NGO's and academics about the standards needed for this particular type of medical examination.
Contribution to the development of a format and protocol of medico-legal reports at the start of asylum procedures.
Contribution to the description of the necessary qualifications of the medical professionals who are to perform these medical examinations.
Conclusions concerning the possible impact on the present text of the Istanbul Protocol. Discussing the possibility of the erection of an international platform for organizations specialized in writing medico-legal reports within the asylum procedure.
Funding & No Conflicts Declaration
iMMO declares that it is not aware of any matter which might give rise to a real or perceived conflict of interest.