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HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC: Clinical Evaluations for Torture Survivors Seeking Asylum and Other Immigration Relief

The Human Rights Clinic (HRC) assists survivors of torture and other human rights abuses seeking immigration relief in the United States. HRC volunteer clinicians provide clinical examinations for survivors, document the physical and psychological signs of abuse, and prepare affidavits for use as expert evidence in immigration proceedings. Clinicians establish whether a client’s claims of torture and abuse are consistent with clinical evidence by carefully eliciting the client’s story and performing a detailed physical and/or psychological assessment.

How to access HRC services

Clients are referred to HRC by their legal representatives and must be screened by HRC staff to gain admission into the program. Clients must meet HRC criteria for HRC’s services to be useful: they should have suffered torture or severe persecution and abuse in the past; they should be applying for some form of primary immigration relief in the United States; they should manifest residual physical scars if requesting a physical evaluation and at least some lingering mental health issues if requesting a psychological evaluation.

 

Legal Representatives should be prepared to provide a copy of the client’s affidavit detailing the history of abuse as well as any other supporting documentation at the time of intake. Legal representatives should be mindful that a completed affidavit from an HRC volunteer will take several weeks from the date of referral. Legal representatives should consult the HRC staff when an affidavit is needed urgently.

 

Clients without legal representation should contact HRC staff for referral to pro-bono legal services.

 

To refer clients in the eastern region of the United States, please contact Lisa Matos at lisa.matos@healthright.org or 212-584-4866. For referrals in the western region, please contact Kelly Barneche at kelly.barneche@healthright.org or 212-584-4842.

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