5 Key Goals:
1) Ranking the needs of survivors is difficult because needs vary by individual, different cultural contexts and the different stages of their ‘journey’. Experiences and needs of individual survivors were brought to life by vivid accounts by different regional participants.
2) Principal needs have been identified for all survivors, including– good health, justice, an adequate standard of living, an accepted part of family/community (able to live free from stigma), safety and awareness of their rights and influence or contribution to change e.g. preventing further acid and burn attacks.
3) In order to secure these rights, change is needed in several corresponding areas: medical (physical and psychological); legal (legal aid and shelter/protection from perpetrators); rehabilitation and reintegration (support to become economically independent, to get an education, to be accepted by family and community); ‘voice’ (to be aware of their rights and be able to claim them and speak out on the issue of acid and burn violence); and prevention of further acid attacks. Of these different changes, the need for medical support is seen as the greatest area of immediate need for survivors in every context, because their injuries are often life-threatening.
4) Family support and ‘reintegration’ into community and family life are complicated by the fact that perpetrators are often known to the survivor and may even be a family member. What perpetrators think is right for themselves and what the organization thinks is in the survivors best interests are not necessarily the same thing, but there was agreement that the survivor’s views and wishes should take precedence.
5) Corporations should play a greater role in safeguarding the rights of survivors. In Bangladesh, participants have lobbied the manufacturing industry to tighten the regulations around transport and availability of acid, but they should be encouraged to become more engaged in providing assistance to survivors as part of their corporate social responsibility and offering employment opportunities to survivors, for example, many of whom live with disabilities.
In order to realize these objectives, ASF has developed a number of services to help survivors in their quest for social and economic rehabilitation: