Collaborating partners

DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture

University Externado of Colombia

The Colombian Ministry of Health

The project will be carried out by three project partners: DIGNITY, the Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection* and the private university University Externado of Colombia.

In collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Dignity and University Externado (UE) bring to the project different skills, competencies and experience. UE has a thorough knowledge of the Colombian society, population and health care sector. Furthermore, UE has extensive experience in qualitative field research methods and specifically applying such methods in a conflict and post-conflict setting. DIGNITY adds its experience from post-conflict research and interventions and is well positioned to draw from Danish expertise, e.g. from the anti-stigma campaigns such as One of us.

*The collaboration between DIGNITY and The Ministry of Health and Social Protection takes place within the framework of a technical cooperation agreement.

DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture

DIGNITY is headquartered in Denmark but cooperates with partner organizations in about twenty other countries.

DGNITY was founded in 1982 by doctor Inge Genefke. As one of the first, it focused on the need for specialized treatment for victims of torture, and DIGNITY (or Rehabilitation and research Center for Torture victims, as it was called back then) became one of the first torture rehabilitation centers in the world.

Today DIGNITY works both politically, juridically and medically. DIGNITY fights for a world without torture and offer torture victims the vital rehabilitation they need.

DIGNITY works with and based on recognized international human rights standards and conventions, including the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Istanbul Protocol, the Nelson Mandela Rules, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

DIGNITY has consultative status under the UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, and is a member of the WHO Alliance for the Prevention of Violence (VPA). The rehabilitation clinic is recognized by the National Board of Health as a national center specializing in the treatment of severely traumatized refugees.

In 2017, DIGNITY received the Crown Prince Couple’s Social Award for the work to combat torture and rehabilitate torture victims in Denmark and internationally.

DIGNITY is a self-governing institution, independent of party policy.
DIGNITY's foreign work is supported by, among others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Arab Partnership Program. The operation of the rehabilitation clinic in Copenhagen is financed through Danish Regions. In addition, DIGNITY's work is made possible thanks to foundations, scholarships, and support from private individuals.

University Externado of Colombia

The University Externado de Colombia was founded on the 15th February 1886 in response to the absolutism and suppression of the freedom of education imposed by the dictatorship of the Regeneration.

The University was founded by the young jurist and educator Nicolás Pinzón Warlosten, who, with the support of a group of illustrious masters of radical liberalism, established an institution that, from its beginnings, has allowed the free study and examination of ideas, has welcomed students from all regions of the country, has practiced respect for religious beliefs and political ideologies and has promoted tolerance as a formula for achieving peaceful coexistence within heterogeneity.

It was called "Externado" because the new institution was influenced by the most modern European educational centers that were then opposed to the old system of boarding school, a school of medieval origin, inclined to catechization and inappropriate for the autonomous development of personhood. Externado implied, therefore, openness as well as freedom of study and teaching.

Throughout its history, the Externado has professed the principles and values that encouraged its founders. The rectors have been Nicholas Pinzón Warlosten, Diego Mendoza Perez, Ricardo Hinestrosa Daza, Fernando Hinestrosa and Juan Carlos Henao.

Mission of the University
As an institution of higher education dedicated to teaching and research in social sciences, with a humanistic orientation, the University Externado de Colombia promotes and practices an absolute respect for life.

Its activity is developed within a pluralistic philosophy, open to all currents of thought, alien to dogmatism and respectful of all religious creeds and political ideologies. The University promotes tolerance as a formula for achieving peace and progress within heterogeneity, welcomes students from all regions of the country and considers diversity as one of its greatest riches.

The Externado de Colombia has confidence and optimism in the viability of Colombia as a nation and works for the reaffirmation of the national identity; supports integration with the countries of Latin America as a guarantee of a significant presence in the international community and encourages cooperation with universities around the world to keep in touch with the universal and contemporary culture in the light of the advancement of science.

Within the liberal spirit that animates it, the University Externado de Colombia pursues the ideal of freedom as an inalienable human right; has faith in democracy; struggles for the improvement of the rule of law, and the search for equality in social and economic terms, and respect for fundamental rights. 23

In addition, the University has always sought the holistic training of its students: seeking to forge true citizens aware of their commitments to the nation; people of integrity, independent of character and practitioners of an unblemished civic ethic, both public and private; professional solidarity, authentic, austere, endowed with good judgement, able to resist intimidation, face corruption and contribute to the recovery of the dignity of the country.

The Universidad Externado de Colombia is a member of the following associations:

  • Colombian Association of Universities, ASCUN. The University was the founder of the Association. Its rector was president of the same between 1957 and 1963 and between 1971 and 1977.
  • Union of Universities of Latin America, UDUAL. The rector of Externado was president of UDUAL between 1976 and 1986.
  • International Association of Universities, AIU. The Rector of the University was a principal member of the Board of Directors between 1985 and 1995.


The Colombian Ministry of Health

*The collaboration between Dignity and The Ministry of Health and Social Protection takes place within the framework of a technical cooperation agreement.