Acid Survivors Trust International
Acid violence is the deliberate use of acid to attack another human being. The victims of acid violence are overwhelmingly women and children, and attackers often target the head and face in order to maim, disfigure and blind. The act rarely kills but causes severe physical, psychological and social scarring, and victims are often left with no legal recourse, limited access to medical or psychological assistance, and without the means to support themselves. Acid violence is a worldwide phenomenon that is not restricted to a particular race, religion or geographical location.
Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) is the only organisation whose sole purpose is to work towards the end of acid violence across the world. Recognising the need for local knowledge and expertise in order to combat acid violence effectively, ASTI founded and supported the development of six partner organisations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan, Nepal, Uganda and India. It has also worked with UN agencies, NGOs and strategic partners from across the world to increase awareness of acid violence and develop effective responses at the national and international level.
Justice? What Justice Read our new report here; Our new report analyses cases across India, Colombia, Cambodia and the UK and has been compiled by leading international law firms, ASTI and Thomson Reuters Foundation. This report provides the evidence base to end acid violence.
It is hard to look at the face of a woman who has been attacked with acid and imagine how she will live an independent and fulfilling life. Yet despite indescribable pain, disfigurement and psychological trauma, many survivors can and will rebuild their lives when provided with the support they need.
Currently, the six in-country partner organisations treat over 1,000 patients per year in total. (Note: This includes both new and old cases. Survivors need on-going treatment often over many years. We calculate that 50 registered patients will result in a minimum of 600 admissions for repeat treatment.) Demand outstrips capacity.
ASTI’s partners in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Cambodia played a key advocacy role that led to legislative reform, taking into account acid violence. The Bangladesh government introduced acid specific legislation in 2002. The Pakistani government passed the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011. The Cambodian government passed legislation in 2012.
Bangladesh has seen a significant reduction in acid attacks. From 496 in 2002 to under 100 in 2011, a 75% reduction.
In addition to the work performed at the local level by ASTI’s partners, ASTI also works at the international level to raise the profile of acid attacks and has worked with UN bodies and other key international actors to achieve this.
More recently, ASTI has been providing expert advice to the Colombian government in helping them to address the issue of acid violence, as well as raising the general awareness of acid violence through a number of media outlets in the UK.
ASTI’s patron is HRH The Princess Royal.
‘Saving Face’ the Oscar Winning Documentary!!
ASTI’s Jaf Shah appeared on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire show.
Gareth Forsythe took a 100 km trek across the Sahara in order to support our work.
Jaf Shah, ASTI’s executive director has just returned from Bogota and here he is sharing the details of his trip.
They have investigated how easy it is to buy acid and the result is TERRIFYING – writes Levi Winchester. The Express is calling on the Government to STOP the evil of acid attacks.
Mr Shah told ITV’s Alastair Stewart that he was “not convinced” there was a police strategy for combating the crime. The expert was interviewed after the attacker of acid survivor Adele Bellis has been imprisoned for life.