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Position paper 2008 relating to substantive and other aspects of attacking the root cause of violence

As part of a wider project funded by theEuropean Union and other donors, from 23 to 27 June 2008, OMCT hosted itssecond international seminar in Geneva on “Addressing the economic, social andcultural root causes of violence through the UN Special Procedures System”.This seminar is an important element of OMCT’s three-year project on“Preventing Torture and Other Forms of Violence by acting on their Economic,Social and Cultural Root Causes.” The OMCT project, now in its second year,focuses on developing concrete measures to address the economic, social andcultural root causes of violence, particularly torture and other cruel, inhumanor degrading treatment or punishment, including violence against women andchildren. This documentcontains expert papers and NGO case studies developed during the 2007 OMCTSpecial Procedures Seminar. We believe that this information is very relevantto the UN Special Procedures System, and its Mandate Holders. During the five-dayseminar, 14 NGO representatives from around the world focused on developingconcrete recommendations to address the root causes of violence in specificcases. The substantive framework for thediscussions was provided by presentations from two invited experts (reproducedin Section I): Mr. Yves Berthelot, member of the OMCT Scientific Council andformer Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe, and Mr.Pierre de Senarclens, Professor of International Relations at the University ofLausanne, also a member of OMCT’s Scientific Council and former Human RightsDirector of UNESCO. Participants alsosubmitted case studies highlighting specific links between violations of economic,social and cultural rights and violence in their countries (summarised inSection II). Seminar participants met and discussed these issues with mandateholders responsible for Human Rights Defenders, Adequate Housing, MinorityIssues, Indigenous People, the Right to Food and the Human Rights of Migrants. TheEuropean Union, through the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights,provides substantial support for this project, which is also generouslysupported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the KarlPopper Foundation, the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation andthe Foundation for Human Rights at Work.
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