Stop the Erosion of Absolute Prohibition of Torture

Chairwoman Hautala met on 8th of November with Eric Sottas, Secretary General of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)[:], Pierre Galand, President of the OMCT Europe to discuss cooperation between the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights and the OMCT in combating torture worldwide.


Fight against torture remains high on the agenda of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and implementation of the EU Guidelines on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment, is observed closely. In this work, input and insight from the OMCT is very much appreciated.


Joint efforts in this regard are timely and highly necessary. There is an increasing need to combat the worldwide erosion of the absolute prohibition of torture. Persistent oppression in several regions and the war against terrorism has kept the instances of torture at a high level. The national and international institutions have, however, failed to counter this by pre-emptive action, insisting on accountability and by ensuring rehabilitation for torture victims. Attempts to redefine torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are an alarming symptom of this very development. Furthermore, the UN Special Procedures operating in this field are in dire need of support as their work in this field is being attacked and at times only feebly supported by the EU Member States.

OMCT is a worldwide coalition of 297 non-governmental organisations fighting against torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances and all other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.