CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey SOS-Torture Litigators’ and Advocacy Group

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is launching a call to join the Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey SOS-Torture Litigators’ and Advocacy Group.

The Litigators’ and Advocacy Group is part of the «United Against Torture Consortium», a three-year global initiative of the six leading global anti-torture organisations: OMCT, Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), Omega Research Foundation, and REDRESS. The project aims to establish a comprehensive, worldwide support system to reinforce and broaden the anti-torture movement while sustaining its efforts to eliminate torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDTP). The SOS-Torture Litigators' and Advocacy Group will prioritise cases involving vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups, and cases arising from crises and challenging contexts. Participants are expected to actively advance their cases and collaborate with the group between January 2024 and May 2026.

The OMCT will build on the experience of existing regional initiatives, namely the SOS-Torture Regional Litigators’ in Africa, Asia and Latin America, set up in 2019 to connect and multiply anti-torture litigation efforts, to set up and coordinate the Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey SOS-Torture Litigators’ and Advocacy Group.


Litigation - which includes the use of judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms - is fundamental to generate greater accountability and to obtain reparation for the victims or survivors of torture and CIDTP, including comprehensive rehabilitation. When litigation is integrated into a broader advocacy strategy, it can trigger structural reforms necessary to prevent torture and CIDTP.

Advocacy - includes submitting analytical reports and individual cases to special procedures, and regional and universal fact-finding mechanisms, as well as engaging in effective interaction with UN, EU, OSCE and other international as well as national stakeholders to promote new policies, justice initiatives, remedies, etc.

The litigators’ and advocacy group aims to:

  • increase the number of cases of torture and other ill-treatment investigated and sanctioned by domestic judicial and administrative bodies and international judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms, as well as achievement of concrete results in the fight against impunity;
  • strengthen the participants’ knowledge on universal and regional anti-torture standards and on the documentation, litigation and advocacy for combating impunity for cases of torture and other ill-treatment at a domestic, regional and universal level where applicable (in particular the European Court of Human Rights, the Committee against Torture (CAT), the Human Rights Committee (CCPR), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)), integrate international anti-torture standards into domestic litigation, and develop best practices on torture litigation based on relevant international standards;
  • offer a platform for exchange of knowledge, experiences and strategies undertaken to defend victims of torture and CIDTP, setting up a process that accompanies litigators and advocates to transfer the acquired knowledge into successful domestic or international legal and advocacy strategies;
  • identify victim-centred and human rights-based practices and approaches in handling cases of torture and CIDTP.

Participants will share knowledge, progressive interpretations of legal principles, strategies and techniques to carry out effective legal and advocacy interventions to improve victims of torture and other ill-treatment access to justice and reparation, including the release of those deprived of liberty.

Selection criteria

The successful candidate is one who:

  • works for, is connected to or endorsed by a civil society organisation that is already documenting or litigating torture cases or is interested in expanding or strengthening its work on torture eradication and / or provides support or assistance to victims of torture and other ill-treatment. The litigator will be chosen based on personal merits and will be expected to participate in all the activities throughout the duration of the project;
  • has experience in litigation and/or legal advocacy of cases of torture (including detention conditions, excessive use of force in extra-custodial settings such as protests, forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, gender-based violence, psychological torture methods, death penalty, violence or persecution of indigenous communities or in the context of migration, among others). At the time of application, the candidate must be working on or has identified cases that require the pursuit of legal remedies;
  • is acquainted with national, regional and universal standards on the prevention, investigation, prosecution, punishment and reparation of torture and ill-treatment;
  • experience in submitting individual communications to the United Nations Treaty Body and Special Procedures System, or strong motivation to use the system is important;
  • is aware of security and safety issues that can arise in working on cases of torture and other ill-treatment for the victim, the litigator, and the involved civil society organisation/s. Also, cognizant of possible protection strategies that can be adopted to mitigate or counter security and safety issues;
  • has an excellent command of written and oral English;
  • Candidates linked to organisations belonging to the SOS-Torture Network, or organisations interested in becoming a member, will have priority;
  • Priority will also be given to candidates who have worked with or are interested in working with the individual communications’ procedures of the UN treaty bodies and or the European Court for Human Rights in their strategies for the defense and promotion of human rights;
  • OMCT will seek to maintain a geographical, cultural, gender balance and diversity among the participants in order to contribute to a greater exchange of experiences and good practices in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey.


  • At least 4 webinars and one in person meeting will be organized between January 2024 and May 2026;
  • The first webinar will take place in January 2024;
  • Analysis, presentation and follow-up of cases;
  • Accompaniment and advice in the design and implementation of legal strategies and complementary advocacy plans;
  • Possibility of applying to the Urgent Assistance OMCT Fund for Victims of Torture to subsidise legal, medical, psychological or social assistance of clients and/or their families;
  • Active participation of the litigators in knowledge and experience sharing, as well as in the design of litigation and advocacy strategies around the cases that each participant will work on;
  • Litigators will need to be supported or endorsed by an NGO, which will be required to accompany and provide technical and institutional support to the litigator anytime it is needed during the meetings and legal submissions conducted in the framework of the litigators’ and advocacy group.

Financing procedures

No remuneration will be provided to the litigators.

How to Apply

All documentation can be downloaded from OMCT website (www.omct.org). Questions and completed applications should be sent to applications@omct.org with the subject line “EE/CA/Turkey Litigators’ and Advocacy Group Application”

When to apply

The deadline for submitting applications is 30 November 2023.

Selection process

  • Consideration of the applications and establishment of a list of eligible members.
  • Evaluation and pre-selection according to the criteria established and the call for participation.
  • The selection process will ensure geographical and gender balance.
  • Shortlist presented to a Selection Committee for final approval.
  • Final decision sent to the successful candidates.

Documents to be supplied in order to apply

An application will be considered eligible only if all the following documents are duly filled in and sent:

  • Application form (to be downloaded here);
  • CV of the candidate;
  • Letter from the civil society organisation supporting the candidate and committing to provide support, anytime it is needed, to the proposed litigator, with regards to the case strategy and identification of victims’ needs and that confirms that the organisation is willing to do advocacy around the candidate’s cases.