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Working for Change, No. 1 A Practical Guide to Acting Against the Economic, Social and Cultural Root Causes of Torture and Other Forms of Violence through Action Files

This publication is intended as a practicalguide to help NGOs effectively address the economic, social and cultural rootcauses of torture and other forms of violence by preparing and disseminatingcommunications or “Action Files”. Action Files aim at halting orpreventing torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, summary orarbitrary executions, forced disappearances, violence against women andviolence against children and other forms of violence. This is done by callingfor preventive and/or remedial action in relation to situations, policies orprojects involving violations of economic, social and cultural rights thatcause violence or that present a real and substantial risk of causing violence.In turn, ending violence can lead to an increase in the enjoyment of economic,social and cultural rights. Action Files are prepared incooperation with national NGOsincluding members of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) SOS-Torture Network. They includerecommendations for specific action, are sent to the competent United NationsSpecial Procedures mandate holders and to government authorities with directresponsibility for taking action. In addition, international financial anddevelopment institutions, the European Union, trans-national corporations andbanks are seized when they are involved in projects that cause or risk causingviolence. Action Files are also sent to themembers of the SOS-Torture Network (some 290 national NGOs) and other NGOsbelonging OMCT’s network on economic, social and cultural rights along withrequests for supportive action on their part. In addition, the information andrecommendations developed in connection with these interventions can beincluded in alternative reports to United Nations (UN) Treaty Bodies[1] and submittedto other procedures, for example the Human Rights Council’s Universal PeriodicReview of respect for human rights by UN Member States and to the institutionsof the European Union. OMCT has prepared a PowerPoint presentation onusing action files “OMCT Action files on ESCR”. For more information andcopies of all OMCT action files, see Bringing about change through ActionFiles . If you require further support, or areinterested in working directly with the OMCT secretariat on this issue, pleasecontact:OMCT, P.O. Box 21, 1211Geneva 8,Switzerland, tel.: +41 (0)22 8094939,e-mail:
Please mention “ESCR Action Files”.

[1] See the companion guide “Workingfor Change, No. 2 A Practical Guide toPreparing Alternative Reports to United Nations Treaty Bodies addressing theEconomic, Social and Cultural Root Causes of Violence”
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