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Encyclopedia > World Organization Against Torture

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is the world’s largest coalition of non-governmental organisations fighting against arbitrary detention, torture, summary and extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and other forms of violence. The global network consists of almost 300 local, national and regional organisations, all of which share a common goal of eradicating torture and fostering respect of human rights for all.

The OMCT's Prevention of Torture program reinforces the prevention and reporting of torture by strengthening the capacity of members through the SOS-Torture network to use United Nations human rights mechanisms. The program submits alternative reports to UN Committees in collaboration with local NGOs, provides support for individuals and organizations wishing to challenge torture practices in international legal fora and publishes a practical guide on international and regional conventional mechanisms relevant to torture. OMCT is also mainstreaming women’s and children’s issues into the UN human rights mechanisms.


OMCT contributes to UN activities through three main activities:

  • The submission of alternative reports to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) and the Human Rights Committee (HRC) in collaboration with local NGOs. Reporting activities should are designed to encourage national NGOs to report torture and follow-up on reports of torure through:
    • the participation of local NGOs in the drafting of alternative reports and their active inclusion in the relevant Committees’ sessions, with the possibility of a follow-up meeting in the field;
    • an integrated approach to the questions relating to the protection from torture and other ill-treatment of women and children, by involving organisations specialized in these issues in the drafting of alternative reports and in the sessions of the Committees;
    • greater dissemination of reports and of the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Committees in English and in the preferred language of the relevant country, through the publication of the reports that have been submitted.
  • Support for individuals and organizations wishing to challenge torture practices in international legal fora. Complaint mechanisms can be used to achieve a number of different objectives including: protection for victims or persons under threat; obtaining reparations and compensation for victims; putting pressure on governments to end impunity in specific cases; and achieving changes in legislation and State practice which lead to serious human rights violations. Many NGOs are not fully aware of how the UN procedures can be used in support of their work in protecting victims from torture. OMCT hopes to encourage and assist partner NGOs that are already active in the struggle against torture to present individual complaints and other relevant information to the CAT, HRC, and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
  • The publication of a practical guide on international and regional conventional mechanisms relevant to torture. The Handbook is conceived as a tool for action. It seeks to respond to the practical needs of the persons intending to employ international mechanisms and bodies to challenge torture practices.

External Links

World Organization Against Torture (http://www.omct.org/)

  Results from FactBites:
Torture in the United States (4879 words)
Torture, which is identified by CAT as including all forms of government sponsored (by affirmative action or by acquiescence) cruel and inhuman treatment and punishment, or other forms of severe pain and suffering, both physical and psychological, currently is taking place in the United States in a number of important areas.
Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture establishes an unconditional right of an emigree who has experienced or faces torture to not be expelled (refouled) back to their country of origin where they are likely to face additional torture.
In addition to the problem of refoulement of torture victims and those legitimately fearing torture, another common practice of the U.S. Government that violates CAT is the long-term, sometimes indefinite detention of large numbers of refugees and torture victims under conditions that frequently are abusive and inappropriate to their circumstances and needs.
New Page 1 (4526 words)
WOAT received consent to file an amicus brief on the issues of jurisdiction and venue from Sharon Paul at the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Central District of Illinois, Springfield office on July 21, 2003.
The World Organization Against Torture USA is a non-profit, non-governmental human rights group operating in the United States as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization dedicated to the prevention of torture and other major human rights abuses.
We are incorporated in the State of Maryland as a non-profit organization.
  More results at FactBites »



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