New ICRC policy on torture

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last June the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) took a clear stand in its global action against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by issuing a policy on the matter. Stemming from the protection of and assistance to the victims – the ICRC primary concern - this policy seeks to reaffirm ICRC conviction that such practices are absolutely unacceptable and to implement an institutional strategy with global reach.

Divided into five sections, the policy presents in detail the range of measures taken by the ICRC in its fight against torture. While visits to detainees, and the possibility to interviewing them in private, are presented as a key element of this policy, it is also clearly stated that regular visits are not sufficient to bring a response to the horror of torture and that only a systemic understanding of all relevant parameters will be effective.

Convinced that dialogue with the perpetrators and the authorities for whom they work is an essential component of this global strategy, the ICRC supports the authorities and all relevant stakeholders in establishing or strengthening an environment conducive to the prevention of torture.

While positioning itself as a major actor in the global fight against torture, the ICRC underlines the clear need for further cooperation with other partners and fully supports the idea that the multiplicity of supervisory mechanisms can only benefit to the prevention of torture. The ICRC goes even further by offering its support, when relevant and in full transparency with regard to the authorities, to the process of establishing or strengthening supervisory mechanisms.

ICRC Link: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) policy on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment inflicted on persons deprived of their liberty