World Organization Against Torture (OMCT)

Choose dignity over fear. Stand with the global movement against torture in a changing environment.

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Choose dignity over fear. Stand with the global movement against torture in a changing environment. Torture, summary executions, and enforced disappearances – the very archetypes of human rights violations. Torture is what we intuitively think of when someone mentions human rights. It is perhaps the epitome of human rights violations – frequently connected with summary executions, and enforced disappearances, the violations that ensure deprivation of all of the rest of our rights. 159 out of 193 UN Member States have agreed, in principle … The absolute prohibition against torture is not just a moral position; it is binding international law, under the UN Convention Against Torture, and many other international treaties. But in practice , in many of these same countries, torture continues unabated, impunity reigns, and in important discourses, the absolute prohibition on torture itself is being called into question. States are responsible the vast majority of torture that takes place ; and yet it is States that are bound to obey the Convention and eradicate torture. So, who polices the police ? Well, at least on torture, it is the local civil society organisations in the global anti-torture movement that are the key actors. Seeking truth, demanding justice, helping victims, and ensuring, through laws, that it never happens again. Put differently, progressive change finally achieving on-the-ground impacts against torture has never, and will never, happen without a frontline civil society push. However, operating individually, often in countries under authoritative regimes, anti-torture groups and organisations at the local or national level are often poorly resourced, often under direct pressure and threats , and insufficiently connected. Why the OMCT ? The OMCT and its SOS-Torture Network is today the principal global civil society coalition against torture in the world. Founded in 1985, based in Geneva, Switzerland, its geographic reach is worldwide due to its global Network, comprised of more than 200 member organisations operating in more than 70 countries around the world. The OMCT is a non-governmental, non-profit, and non-partisan organisation registered in Geneva, Switzerland, with an office in Brussels, Belgium and an office in Tunis, Tunisia. This is the moment in history where we must double our efforts against torture. More about the OMCT Our Mission: Our mission is – as a network – to eradicate torture, summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary detention and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to provide protection to all victims through a global network working in partnership and solidarity. Our mission includes the protection of the women and men who defend the rights of others and their organizations. Our theory of change The OMCT theory of change is simple : real impact against torture is achieved through collective action at both the national and international levels. Lasting change in the fight against torture requires strong and competent local actors who can provide support to victims of torture, document and report torture; who provide the necessary expertise to Governments, engage them and demand their accountability for torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary executions and detention. These actors need an international network to provide support, protection and expertise to enable greater impact in the fight against torture locally, regionally and globally. About our added value The Network-driven structure of the OMCT enables the global anti-torture movement to rely on:
Solid partnerships, that draw on readily available, reliable, first-hand information from the field in widely diverse settings and contexts, including in difficult-to-access locations. It also allows OMCT efficiently share and disseminate useful information when needed;
The OMCT's formal role as civil-society coordinator for the Committee Against Torture and engaging NGOs around the world to partake in the United Nations' principal mechanism against torture;
Specialized and context-specific expertise and access to some of the finest anti-torture practitioners on how to tackle the many facets of torture to collectively build protection agendas;
A distinct civil society approach, empowering, reinforcing, and accompanying partners including in their engagement with States but seeking not to replace local actors in their fight against torture;
A flexible bottom-up based approach on local actors' knowledge and needs rather than on a 'one size fits all' approach to many diverse contexts.
The OMCT believes in a holistic approach for combatting torture, combining prevention, protection, victim assistance, reparation, and justice. Similarly, our actions involve a mixture of emergency response and mid- and long-term advocacy for promoting legal and preventive policies through the Network. The OMCT chooses to pay particular attention to the needs and specificities of those most vulnerable to abuse, and those who may suffer torture in specific forms and circumstances, such as women, LGBTI persons, children and other vulnerable communities. The OMCT is one of the leading human rights defenders organizations, providing protective advocacy, material assistance and enabling anti-torture actors to continue their work under threat. Contact Us ! OMCT International Secretariat PO Box 21, 8, rue du Vieux-Billard, CH-1211 Geneva 8, Switzerland Phone: + 41 22 809 4931 E-mail: OMCT Europe Rue Stevin 115 1000 Brussels Tel.: +32 2 218 37 19 E-mail: OMCT Tunisia 2 Av. de France Immeuble Le National Apt. 325 Tunis 1000 Tunisie Tel: +216 71 322 561 / +216 71 323 008 E-mail:

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