United againstall forms of torture:
Applying across-cutting perspective to prevent, prohibit and redress torture globally
18thEU-NGO Human Rights Forum, Brussels, 1-2 December 2016
This report aims to capture the discussions and outlinethe recommendations from the 2016 EU-NGO Human Rights Forum entitled ‘Unitedagainst all forms of torture: Applying a cross-cutting perspective to prevent,prohibit and redress torture globally’, co-organised by the European ExternalAction Service (EEAS) and the Brussels-based Human Rights and Democracy Network(HRDN), which gathers over 50 NGOs operating at the EUlevel in the broader areas of human rights, democracy and peace including theWorld Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).
The Forum took place at a key moment for globalengagement against torture and ill-treatment. 2016 marked the 10th anniversaryof the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention againstTorture (OPCAT), the 32nd anniversary of the adoption of the UN ConventionAgainst Torture (UN CAT) and the 50th anniversary of the adoption of theInternational Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and onCivil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Addressing torture and ill-treatmentremains as urgent as ever against the backdrop of the global and Europeanmigration crises, counter-terrorism efforts and the shrinking space forindependent civil society, in particular the repression of human rightsdefenders (HRDs).
The report summarises the diverse discussions held duringthe Forum and includes concrete recommendations for follow up action for theEuropean Union (EU) and civil society in 2017 and beyond. In presenting theexchanges at the Forum, all views expressed with regard to the situation withinindividual countries are recounted as presented by the participants and do notreflect the views of individual HRDN members nor the network as a whole.
In line with EU and member state commitments in theTreaty of Lisbon and the Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy,HRDN’s vision is that human rights and democracy are placed at the heart of theEU’s internal and external policy agenda. This vision should manifest itself inan EU which effectively protects human rights at home and is a force forpositive change in the world. In pursuit of this vision, HRDN aims to influenceEU and EU member states’ foreign and domestic policies and the programming oftheir funding instruments to promote democracy, human rights and peace.
The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) workedon the preparation of the Forum together with a core group of the HRDNorganisations including the HRDN co-chairs, Amnesty International (AI), theInternational Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), theAssociation for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the InternationalFederation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT).
The full report and the Executive Summary can bedownloaded here: