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International Conference: Children, torture and other forms of violence. <br>Tampere, Finland: 27 November - 2 December 2001

  • Event Date: 20.04.01
  • Event Time: 00:00:00
The World Organisation against Torture (OMCT)
in partnership with
the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare

and with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


Children, torture and other forms of violence:
Facing the facts, forging the future
Tampere 27 November – 2 December 2001
Tampere, Finland

First announcement and......CALL FOR PAPERS

Aim of the conference
Cross-cutting themes
Who should attend?
Working languages
Why attend?
The approach

Social Events
Dates to remember
Contacting us

Aim of the conference
The aim of the conference is to propose a programme of action with concrete,realistic and measurable goals aiming at the long term elimination of torture,cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, arbitrary arrests, summaryexecutions, forced disappearances or other more subtle forms of violentrepression against children.

Reasons behind the conference: cross-cutting themes
OMCT children’s rights programme has now been running for 10 years and hasdenounced, documented and acted on several thousands of cases of child tortureall around the world. The first decade of the children’s rights programme hasrevealed specific needs and actions that need to be taken at national, regionaland international levels:

During the last five years OMCT has documented around 2.300 cases of torture,summary executions, forced disappearances and arbitrary arrests of childrenworldwide. The scale of the abuse is not only huge but is on the increase. Thegrowing figures can be attributed partly to a better reporting of violations butin some countries are definitely the consequences of the worsening ofchildren’s conditions. Furthermore, there is a great deal of work to be donebefore the exact level of abuse can be accurately estimated and assessed.

1. Interpretation of torture within the framework of the Convention on the rights of the child
Definitions of and protection from torture and other forms of ill-treatment atboth the international and national levels have been interpreted with referenceto adults’ rather than from a children’s perspective. The almost universallyratified Convention on the Rights of the Child has strongly contributed towardsthe changing of attitudes in some respects, but prompt action now would assistthis process enormously.
2. Absence of a specific UN mechanism to address violence against children
OMCT, through its network, brings to light on a daily basis cases of violenceperpetrated against children by the state or with its acquiescence. On severaloccasions, the national justice system has remained inactivate or, if there isan investigation, the pace and the procedures of the investigations revealdeficiencies and a lack of impartiality in the system. This results in themultiple violations of the rights of children who are neither protected fromviolence nor guaranteed the right to redress and reparation. This cycle ofviolation and impunity is likely to be perpetuated at the international levelwhere there is no specific mechanism to address violence against children.
3. International UN Study on Violence against Children
In September 2000, the Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended, on itsdiscussion day on state violence against children, that the General Assemblyrequest the Secretary-General to undertake a major international study onviolence against children. Such a study should, inter alia, explore thedifferent types of violent treatment of which children are victims, identifytheir causes, the extent of such violence, and its impact on children, and putforward recommendations for action, including effective remedies andpreventative and rehabilitative measures. The conference will provide a forumfor a thorough discussion on the study, its scope, methodology, timeframe andthe involvement of civil society.

Conference sub themes

1. Interpretation of torture within the framework of the Convention on the rights of the child
2. Establishment of an international mechanism to address violence againstchildren
3. Prevention of torture and violence against children
4. Juvenile justice systems and child institutions
5. The right to redress, reparation and compensation. Rehabilitation andreintegration of child victims
6. Domestic violence, sexual violence and child trafficking related to it
7. Child bonded labour, slavery and child trafficking related to it

Who should attend?
The international conference will combine the skills, resources and experiencesof, UN mechanisms and specialised agencies, regional mechanisms, experts on therights of the child, human rights activists, decision makers and doctors andpsychologists specialised in medical and psychological counselling andrehabilitation of child victims of torture and violence.
The number of participants is restricted, to provide maximum networking andparticipation opportunities.

Working languages
The working languages of the conference will be English, French and Spanish;Russian translation will be provided.

Why attend?
2001 is a particularly suitable year to put the issue of children’s rights onthe international agenda. The Special Session of the UN General Assembly onChildren, the Thematic Discussion Day of the Committee on the Rights of theChild on violence against children in September 2001 and the Yokohama Conferenceon sexual exploitation of and trafficking in children in December 2001 arecreating a worldwide awareness and a momentum which OMCT will contribute to andbuild on.
The conference will try to mark and strengthen the process of mainstreamingchildren’s rights and especially violence against children within the existingmechanisms and set the basis for a possible new mechanism addressing violenceagainst children.
Furthermore, on the occasion of the day devoted to the thematic discussion onstate violence against children in September 2000, the Committee on the Rightsof the Child recommended that the existing UN mechanisms having a direct orindirect mandate on children’s rights, organise a workshop, the aim of whichwould be to increase the exchange of expertise and strengthen collaborationamongst them. OMCT firmly believes that this conference could provide the idealopportunity for the star of this exchange and collaboration.

The conference approach
The conference will have a multidisciplinary and holistic approach, focusing onpreventive measures, causes of torture and ill-treatment, denunciation,advocacy, assistance to victims, redress, rehabilitation and reintegration. Inparticular, the incorporation of a gender perspective is fundamental to theprocess of gender mainstreaming. With regard to this conference, the gendermainstreaming will involve the assessment of the implications of any plannedaction for girls and boys, including legislation, policies and programmes, inall areas and at all levels.

The city of Tampere was founded in 1779. With a population of 195,000, Tampereis the third-largest city in Finland and a dynamic centre of industry, culture,research and education. Thanks to its central location – a two-hour drive fromHelsinki - and excellent services, Tampere is a very popular congress city. Thecity, situated between two beautiful lakes, has a distinct air of natural peace.In the evening, the city comes alive and visitors can choose from a whole hostof theatres, concerts, bars and restaurants.


SAS- Scandinavian Airlines has been appointed as theOfficial Airline forInternational Conference. SAS offers delegates and accompanying persons specialflexible and favorableconference fares to Finland.To obtain SAS conference fareskindly contact your nearest SAS office and quote the reference number: FI0143.SASoffers a special flexible conference fare on both business and economy class.Please note that spouse fares are also available. For further information aboutSAS Official Airline and your nearest SAS office kindly visit youtravel to Scandinavia with SAS and want to see more of Scandinavia SAS isfurthermore offering SAS Visit Scandinavia Air Pass for travel within andbetween Scandinavia/Finland. Also Air Passes valid for travel to the Balticregion and Europe are available; see more information andconditionson

Guests will be accommodated in different hotels, providing comfortable andinexpensive accommodation, located at a walking distance from Tampere Hall, theconference venue. To avail of specially negotiated conference rates, earlybooking is essential.


November is the ideal time for committed participants and hard workers. Theweather can be cold and rainy and therefore warm clothes are advised.

Social events
A lively programme of social and cultural events is planned to allow a maximumenjoyment for participants and to provide valuable time to network withcolleagues from around the world.

Dates to remember
Registration deadline: 31 August 2001
Submission of papers: 1 October 2001
International Conference: 27 – 30 November 2001
OMCT statutory matters: 1 December 2001
For further information please contact:
Ms Roberta Cecchetti

Children’s Rights Programme Manager
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
P.O. Box 21
CH - 1211 Geneva 8, Switzerland
tel. +41-22-809 4939 fax +41-22-809 4929
web site: Map Ms Leena Sulonen
Managing Director
Tampere Conference Service Ltd.
P.O. Box 630
FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland
tel. +358-3-366 4400 fax +358-3-222 6440
web site:

With the support of the European Union Europe and the Government of Finland Finland

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