PUBLIC LAW 105-320 -- October 30, 1998
TORTURE VICTIMS RELIEF ACT OF 1998
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Christopher H. Smith
Signed by the President on October 30, 1998
Summary: Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998 - Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize the President to provide assistance in the form of grants to treatment centers and programs in foreign countries that are carrying out projects or activities specifically designed to treat victims of torture for the physical and psychological effects of such torture.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 and 2000.
Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide grants to U.S. programs to cover the costs of services for: (1) the rehabilitation of victims of torture, including treatment of the physical and psychological effects of torture; (2) social and legal services for victims of torture; and (3) research and training for health care providers outside of treatment centers. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 and 2000.
Authorizes appropriations to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should: (1) request the Fund to find new ways to support and protect treatment centers and programs (including the development of new centers and programs) that are carrying out rehabilitative services for victims of torture; (2) use the U.S. vote to support the work of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Committee Against Torture established under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and (3) use the U.S. vote to establish a country rapporteur or similar procedural mechanism to investigate human rights violations in a country if either the Special Rapporteur or the Committee Against Torture indicates that a systematic practice of torture is prevalent in such country.
Directs the Secretary of State to provide training for foreign service officers with respect to torture victims, including gender-specific training on the subject of interacting with women and men who are victims of torture by rape or any other form of sexual violence.
Text of the Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-320) [.pdf]