Revision of Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The European Union and its member states do not yet make full use of all the public diplomacy tools at their disposal when it comes to torture. This is one of the concerns raised by APT and other anti-torture organisations with regard to the forthcoming revision of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Diplomacy for 2015-2017.

The APT, jointly with Amnesty International, FIACAT, IRCT and OMCT, has outlined a number of key recommendations for the revised Action Plan. These recommendations include:

  • Ensuring that the EU makes torture a standing item on the agendas of  human rights dialogues and other exchanges with third country governments.
  • Making better use of existing policy tools, such as the EU Guidelines on Torture.
  • Tackling torture more effectively with a holistic approach, including promoting ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol (OPCAT), and establishing independent and effective National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs).
  • Ensuring that the EU and its member states’ own internal practices are in line with recommendations for third countries. This includes establishing and having dialogues with resourced and independent NPMs, acting on their recommendations, and ensuring that legal and procedural safeguards are fully applied to effectively reduce the risk of torture in all places of detention.

An opportunity to discuss and provide input to the revision of the Action Plan will be a high-level event on 3 December 2014 in Brussels to reflect on the 30th anniversary on the UN Convention against Torture. The discussions will bring together key stakeholders to exchange good practice, positive experiences and suggestions on how to better and more quickly achieve the aim of eradicating torture.