International NGOs call on the EU to reactivate task force on torture

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Council of the European Union should reactivate a key task force to monitor and coordinate EU actions against torture. This is the message that APT together with Amnesty International, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) sent to the EU Council Working Group on Human Rights.

The latest revision of the EU Guidelines on Torture, and the adoption of the EU action plan on human rights in 2012 both provide for a unique opportunity for the EU to take a stand against torture, and actively contribute to preventing it. To do so, the EU should re-activate the Human Rights Working Group's (COHOM) Task Force on Torture, which used to play a useful coordination and monitoring role, notably with regards to the implementation of the EU Guidelines on torture, until it became dormant in 2011. The Task Force on Torture should be reactivated and it should provide regular updates on EU actions against torture and in favour of prevention. The task force should also engage with civil society, as it used to do in the past, in order to foster synergies between EU and civil society actions against torture.