How we help
In-Country Partner Network
The work carried out by our In-Country Partners varies in different parts of the world. Supported and partly resourced by ASTI, our partners work with NGOs, local and national governments and the international community to:
- ensure survivors have better access to quality medical care
- assist with survivors’ psychological and social rehabilitation
- campaign and engage in advocacy work to prevent further attacks
- provide survivors with support to access criminal and legal justice systems
From humble beginnings in 1999, The Acid Survivors Foundation Bangladesh, now serves as the model for our other partners.
The work in Bangladesh has attracted international attention, recognition and support. HRH The Princess Royal visited ASF Bangladesh in 2001 and has shown continuing interest in its work. Monira Rahman, the Executive Director of Acid Survivors Foundation, was awarded the Amnesty Human Rights Award for her fight against Acid Violence in March 2006.
ASF Bangladesh plans a recovery programme for each individual survivor with the aim of helping them become physically and economically independent.
The Foundation has also successfully worked with ordinary citizens, social activists and – very importantly – the government itself, to campaign against acid attacks, change legislation and bring perpetrators to justice. The results of this campaigning effort have proved very successful.
Acid violence peaked in Bangladesh in 2002 with 500 attacks. In 2009 that figure is expected to fall below 100. Great work is being done to reduce the incident of acid attacks, which only serves to strengthen our commitment to eradicate acid violence in Bangladesh all together.
Download the ASF Bangladesh Annual Report
For further information please refer to the website of ASF in Bangladesh
Cambodia Acid Survivors Charity (CASC)
As a result of a fact finding visit to Cambodia in 1995, ASTI helped set up the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC). It not only helps survivors receive medical and surgical attention but offers counselling, provides vocational training and runs an Acid Burns Survivors’ Group, where people meet to share problems and experiences, and which is often visited by specialist helpers and advisers.
CASC intends to follow the example of ASF Bangladesh to push for significant social and legal change, and to try to reduce the incidence of this crime in Cambodia.
In Cambodia the majority of victims are poor rural women. Their children sometimes also become victims because they are being held by their mothers when acid is thrown. Medically, the children’s injuries require more complex medical treatment as their rate of growth requires more staged operations and more intensive physiotherapy.
Increasingly, more men are becoming victims of acid attacks due to loan defaults and land ownership disputes.
CASC played an important advocacy role that led to Cambodia’s acid control law – adopted in December 2011
For further information please refer to the website of the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity
‘Acid attacks are a widespread human rights violation most often perpetrated against women. Yet many survivors do not have access to adequate legal, medical and psychological support. With support from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) responds to the needs of women and girls affected by acid attacks and implements measures to prevent attacks from happening in the first place and to bring perpetrators to justice. The project serves 2,000 women and their communities in Cambodia, Nepal, and Uganda. (Producer: UN Women; Date of Release: November 2011)’ – text published on the unwomen.org website on November 18 2011
‘Acid Attacks Continue in Cambodia Despite Harsher Punishments’ VOA video
‘The charity (CASC) has recorded more than 300 acid attacks in Cambodia, going back to the 1980s. But those are just the ones they know of, said Ziad Samman, the center’s project manager.’
Acid Survivors Foundation in Pakistan (ASF-P) was founded in 2006 when ASTI successfully secured funding to pay for a three-year project to establish a new 25-bed nursing and rehabilitation unit. The Acid Burns Nursing and Rehabilitation Unit project, was confirmed in August 2006 and the first patients were treated in January 2007.
ASF-Pakistan operates a varied programme which includes re-constructive surgery, nursing care, counselling and psychological and psychiatric treatment. Rehabilitation programmes include job placement and self employment assistance. They also run an art therapy programme and do campaigning work on awareness and prevention.
The work in awareness and prevention includes plans for:
- identifying and establishing links with national social activists, medical specialists and related practitioners for both support and for practical involvement.
- enlisting the various public media in the campaign against acid attacks
- lobbying senior politicians, government institutions and civil bodies about the social issues which characterise acid attacks
- lobbying for the establishment of an adequate public (government-run) burns unit in each of Pakistan’s four provinces.
- campaigning for the rights of women
- achieving sustainability through financing and national and international forms of support.
ASF-P played a key advocacy role that led to the Pakistani government passing the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011
For further information please refer to the website of ASF Pakistan
Acid Survivors’ Foundation Uganda (ASF-U) was established in 2003. It is a registered non governmental organisation and operates across Uganda with an office in its capital city Kampala.
The organisation was established by survivors and a Ugandan doctor, helped by the Chair of ASTI. The Uganda Acid Survivors Foundation seeks to help victims of acid attacks by:
- enabling survivors of acid attacks to get the best medical treatment
- offering legal support and advice to acid survivors and their families
- assisting in the rehabilitation, education and training of acid survivors
- advocating for the reduction and eventual elimination of acid attacks
- advocating for reform in the penal law with regard to acid attacks
Some survivors help the Ugandan ASF in its administration and with its counselling services. Funding and support has been found to help survivors progress to higher education or undertake forms of training to help them find gainful employment.
For further information please refer to the website of ASF Uganda
Burn Violence Survivors-Nepal (BVS–Nepal) is a not for profit non-governmental organization established in 2008. Its main objective is to promote a holistic approach to supporting survivors of burns violence. This entails working with partners to provide quality medical and psychosocial care, whilst also promoting legal advocacy, vocational training and long term prevention strategies.
Burns violence whether from an acid attack, a homicide or a suicide attempt is a deeply tragic form of violence, with serious long term physical and psychological consequences. BVS-Nepal aims not only to help survivors with their immediate recovery but to help construct positive environments in which survivors can live with dignity. While there are no official statistics on burns violence, there is disturbing evidence that such violence is widespread and on the rise.
In 2010, BVS-Nepal initiated a ‘pilot project’ phase. The main objective of this is to set up and develop a specialist team consisting of counselors, a physiotherapist and nutritionist. Today we are able to provide medical, physiological and nutrition support to burns violence survivors. Furthermore, BVS-Nepal intends to provide legal counsel and advocacy, whilst also developing burn prevention training through our programs.
The second phase of the project would be to establish a rehabilitation home for burns survivors, where they will be provided post-hospital medical care, psycho- social support and vocational training.
Considering the extent of the needs: medical, surgical, legal or material-and the actual lack of support, in order to achieve our goals, BVS-Nepal aims at developing a solid partnership network with various governmental and private sector service providers. The aim is to partner with these organizations to provide both medical and psycho-socio support to victims and survivors of burns violence, this to the very poor who cannot afford these services themselves.
For further information please refer to the website of BVS Nepal.
Acid Survivors Trust India was established in perpetuity at Kolkata by Mr H P Kanoria as a non government organization (NGO) in February 2010:
1. For public and charitable purposes;
2. For setting up a countrywide centre for the care, treatment and rehabilitation of acid attack victims; and
3. For prevention and eradication of acid attacks by generating awareness through campaigns, public education and other means.
The name was later changed to Acid Survivors Foundation India (ASFI) when the same became an In-Country Partner of Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), a London based charity and centre of excellence in the field. This facilitated access to additional specialist support including skills, knowledge sharing, best practices and inputs from ASTI and other partner organizations.
ASFI has made a beginning to tackle the challenging tasks ahead, which are pretty complex in view of the size (28 federal states) and population (1.22 billion) of the country. Lack of reliable statistics about acid attacks throughout the country has rendered long term perspective planning somewhat difficult. India shares common features and problems with its South Asian neighbours and taking their incidence as guide over the years, an estimate of 500 to 1000 acid attacks per annum.
The causes of acid attacks in India are varied but the most prominent are domestic violence, dowry demands, marital rejections and suspicion of infidelity.
ASFI has so far initiated action on the following lines:
- Collection of data and statistics on acid attacks.
- Formation of a network of ASFI Chapters and/or associates at important locations.
- Interacting with various agencies engaged with the problem of acid violence.
- Planning an All India Conference on “Women: Violence and Victimization – Social and Legal Aspects,” early next year. (The theme and title are subject to modification in consultation with partners).
- Preparing a Pilot Project for holistic attention to acid survivors, including care and treatment, psycho therapy, social rehabilitation and confidence building.
- A popular Fundraising Event that will serve the dual purpose of promoting the cause of acid victims and generating wherewithal to support ASFI’s efforts in this direction is being planned.
- Enactment of sections 326A (hurt by acid) and 326B (attempt to throw or administer acid) under Indian Penal Code (IPC) as non bailable offences, enhancement of jail term to ten years and monetary compensation of Rs 1,000,000, draft Bill for which has already been approved by the Union Cabinet, is pending. Meanwhile, ASFI will approach the State government to frame rules for regulating the sale and distribution of acidic materials.
- Provision of legal advice and support to victims for obtaining justice and protection from threats.
For more information please refer to their website www.asfi.in