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Brief History

The Istanbul Protocol was the result of three years of analysis, research, and drafting undertaken by more than 75 forensic doctors, physicians, psychologists, human rights monitors, and lawyers who represented 40 organisations and institutions from 15 countries, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). The development of the Istanbul Protocol was initiated and coordinated by Physicians for Human Rights-USA (PHR), the Human Rights foundation of Turkey (HRFT), and Action for Torture Survivors (HRFT-Geneva). The project was conceived in March, 1996, after an international symposium on “Medicine and Human Rights” held at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Cukurova University Medical Faculty, in Adana, Turkey by the Turkish Medical Association. The drafting process culminated at a meeting in Istanbul in March, 1999, when the manual reached its final form and subsequently submitted to the United Nations High Comissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the 9th of August 1999. In 2001, the Office of the OHCHR published the Istanbul Protocol in its Professional Training Series in the six official UN languages.