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New Initiative to Strengthen Protection from Torture on Migration Routes

The OMCT and CACIT launch appeal to participate in a new SOS-Torture working group on “Migration and Torture”

PRESS RELEASE 12 September 2019

Geneva (OMCT), Lomé (CACIT): The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Collectif des Associations Contre l’Impunité au Togo (CACIT) open a call for participation for members of theOMCT SOS-Torture Network and strategic potential partners to join its working group "Migration andTorture". This new regional initiative will bring a much-needed protection perspective from torture across the migration routes from and within Africa through innovative and collective research and advocacy.

The tragic images of African migrants fleeing torture and other violence, corruption, poverty and marginalisation, have changed the world during the last.

We need to recognise that torture is everywhere on the migration routes. Torture is a root cause for people leaving their countries, torture is pervasive on the migration routes, and the support and treatment need of torture survivors are key to both migration and integration policies when they reach safety”, said Gerald Staberock, Secretary General of the OMCT.

The international community has proven largely unwilling or incapable to establish minimum protection for those on the move. It is therefore time for civil society to think together, conduct more detailed research, and make common recommendations that reach beyond the humanitarian consequences of forced displacement and improve real protection of migrants against torture and ill-treatment. Otherwise, they will never be safe, anywhere – not at home, not on the road, not in their destinations. This simply cannot be tolerated.

Many important aspects of torture and ill-treatment experienced by people on the move in, across, and at the gates of Africa have remained particularly under-explored and under-researched. The dimension of this phenomenon calls into question the effectiveness of existing migration laws and policies on the continent to protect migrants against torture. The phenomenon and its human cost remain underestimated and are reduced to a few statistics and viral images on social networks or episodic broadcasts by the mainstream media.

"Within the SOS-Torture Network inAfrica and also in Europe we need to use our knowledge of and unique access to migrants, to analyse first-hand information in order to set out authoritative research and recommendations fora protection agenda. We hope that our joint work can build stronger alliances and coalitions to inform policy makers at the national, regional and international level," said Ghislain Nyaku, Executive Director of CACIT. The 12 civil society representatives selected on the basis of this open call directed towards the SOS torture network and other strategic partners will forma Working Group. Its action will include collective thinking, research and advocacy to achieve greater impact. A first meeting to set the common agenda is foreseen for October/November 2019 on theAfrican continent. The initiative will be conducted under the patronage of Mrs.Aminata Dieye, OMCT Executive Board member, senior human rights advocate fromSenegal, and will seek to draw in key experts from the United Nations human rights system and the African Commission on Peoples and Human Rights. Please find below more information on the terms of reference and the selection process for SOS-Torture Network members and partners interested in this call.

Supporting Documents

Call for Participants
Motivation Letter Template Letter of Engagement

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is the main global coalition of NGOs fighting torture and ill-treatment, with over 200 members in more than 90 countries. Its international secretariat is based in Geneva,Switzerland.

The CACIT is a network of 14 non-political and non-profit associations and NGOs in Togo. Its mission is to contribute to the improvement of the human rights situation by offering legal, psycho-medical, social and training assistance services in order to meet the needs of the rights holders.

For more information:

  • OMCT: Isidore NGUEULEU, Human Rights Adviser for the Africa Region, +41 (0) 22 809 49 20
  • CACIT: Ghislain NYAKU, Executive Director of CACIT,, + 228 91 60 20 33

Media contact:

  • OMCT: Iolanda Jaquemet, Director of Communications,, (+) 41 79 539 41 06
  • CACIT: Roger Amemavoh, Director of Communication,, +228 91 39 21 96
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