International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which supports, monitors and protects human rights defenders throughout the year, is publishing its 2010 Annual Report. The report focuses on the year-round fight for human rights throughout the world.
Human rights as we know them today are based on the principles of equality, liberty and solidarity which emerged during the French Revolution and were embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While all human rights must be interpreted taking into account all three of these guiding principles, due to historical reasons, each principle has in turn generated a different set of rights. Those based on the principle of liberty, also called "first generation rights" -whose earliest advocates date back to the 16th century-, include the right to life and physical integrity, to freedom of thought and expression, to take part in the government of one's own country, the right not to be arrested without legal grounds, the right to an impartial trial, and to own property, among others. This set of rights comprises what are known as "civil and political rights". "Second generation" rights refer to economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to employment and just remuneration for work, the right to adequate housing, health, education and culture. The struggle for these rights was staged primarily throughout the last few centuries, with labour movements being among the first to champion them, once it became clear that civil and political rights cannot be exercised unless individuals are guaranteed access to a minimum set of vital resources. This type of demands paved the way for a new way of thinking, which contends that the role of the State cannot be limited to maintaining the public peace and enforcing contracts, but rather that it must act affirmatively towards ensuring that first generation rights become a reality for all and not just a privilege for some. In this sense, second generation rights are said to be a set of demands for equality.
So called "third generation rights" indicate that every person should be born and live in an environment that enables the effective exercise of all their rights. The contamination of natural resources, together with all manifestations of violence, including armed conflicts, jeopardize such possibility of enjoyment. These rights are yet to be embodied in an international declaration, but over the last few years there has been a growing awareness that promoting these rights is key to attaining a more equitable society. This calls for strong international commitment and solidarity.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved in 1948 by the United Nations, proclaims the universality and indivisibility of human rights as two essential conditions for their effective implementation. This means that each right applies to all human beings and that every acknowledged human right has a collective dimension and that together they form a whole which cannot be separated without altering its original purpose. The international political situation of the Cold War era, however, led many countries in the West to promote civil rights, while less developed and Eastern countries focused on securing access to economic and social rights. In 1966, with the adoption of the "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" (ICCPR), on the one hand, and the "International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights" (ICESCR), on the other, the international community underscored the division prevalent at the time in the system of human rights. Even now, while there are formal mechanisms for the promotion of civil and political rights, such as the Optional Protocol of the ICCPR, which gives the Human Rights Committee competence to receive and consider reports of alleged violations of any of the rights set forth in the covenant, a similar protocol for economic, social and cultural rights is yet to be adopted.
The world's leading international human rights organizations, formed in the 1960s, focused on the protection of civil and political rights, no doubt contributing significantly to the development of such rights. Undoubtedly, the realization of all human rights cannot be attained without first guaranteeing such basic rights as the right to life and liberty. The actions of many people working to protect human rights worldwide has made it difficult for governments to violate them and has been instrumental in preventing numerous crimes committed by authoritarian regimes from going unpunished. There are still many people today who are victims of this type of abuses and it is necessary to strengthen actions to guarantee the protection of the rights of all human beings, as has been proclaimed in a long list of international treaties. The historical marginalization of economic, social and cultural rights, however, has had an effect on the present and has demonstrated that securing civil and political rights is vital but not enough. Despite the elaborate international legal system designed to satisfy the basic needs of individuals, whole communities continue to be victimized by national and international policies that condemn them to increasing poverty and deny them their rights. Without specific instruments that will allow these policies to be considered as violations of internationally acknowledged rights, social movements will lack effective tools to deal with such situations.
In the last few years, with the establishment of a new political scenario, the international community has become aware of this reality, and the original conception of human rights as an indivisible whole is being taken up again. United Nations' agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have declared their commitment to the indivisibility of human rights and to not establishing a hierarchy of rights. That millions of people may have the real possibility of fully enjoying their rights will depend to a great extent on the success of this conception.
Since problems relating to the treatment of non-citizens arise under each of the seven principal human rights treaties, it would be desirable for the treaty bodies to coordinate their work more effectively. One approach would be for the treaty bodies to prepare joint general comments/recommendations that would establish a consistent, structured approach to the protection of the rights of non-citizens. A primary objective of any international effort to protect the rights of non-citizens begins by demonstrating, as indicated by this publication, that without clear, comprehensive standards governing the rights of non-citizens, their implementation by States and more effective monitoring of compliance, the discriminatory treatment of non-citizens in contravention of relevant international human rights instruments will continue. 2006, pdf format.
The ICCPR was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966. The ICCPR was to take effect ten years later in all nations that had become state parties. A sufficient number of states had become parties so the ICCPR took effect as planned in 1976. The ICCPR promotes universal respect for and observance of, human rights and freedoms.
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction"
The High Commissioner is the principal UN official with responsibility for human rights and is accountable to the Secretary- General. The post of High Commissioner was created in 1993. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is based at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, with an office at United Nations Headquarters in New York. This site includes links to the main international human rights instruments.
Considering the need to further achieve the purposes of the ICCPR and the implemenation of its provisions this protocol enables the Human Rights Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals claiming to be victims of violations of any of the rights set forth in the ICCPR.
The following chart of States shows which are a party or signatory to the main United Nations human rights treaties. Self-governing territories that have ratified any of the treaties are also included in the chart. As at 02 November 2003, all 189 Member States of the United Nations and 4 non-Member States were a party to one or more of these treaties. PDF format.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is one of two bodies (the other being the Inter-American Court of Human Rights) in the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights. The IACHR is an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS). Its mandate is found in the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. This page includes links to the main documents pertaining to human rights in the Inter-American System, including the "American Declaration of the Rights and Duties on Man" and the "American Convention on Human Rights" and its protocols, as well as the list of signatures and current status of ratifications.
Established by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights which came into force on 21st October 1986, after its adoption in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1981 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is charged with ensuring the promotion and protection of Human and Peoples' Rights throughout the African Continent.
The Directorate General of Human Rights has an overall remit for the development and implementation of the human rights policy and standards of the Council of Europe, including the operation of human rights treaties and related mechanisms.
After 50 years of expectations and discussions, in 1998 the UN approved the Rome Statute, establishing the ICC as an independent and permanent initiative. So far, 160 countries have signed the Rome Statute, which, besides creating the ICC, classifies the most serious crimes against human rights and establishes procedures for penal prosecution in such cases. As a consequence, the signatory States are committed to amending internally their penal laws and procedures, in order to fulfil this new obligation, and to developing measures to control, prevent and combat any criminal attacks on fundamental rights.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which has its seat in San José, Costa Rica, was established by the American Convention on Human Rights. It is an autonomous juridical institution of the OAS whose purpose is to interpret and apply that Convention. It has litigious jurisdiction and advisory competence. The Court is made up of seven judges who are elected by the States Parties to the Convention at the General Assembly of the Organization.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by UN Security Council resolution 827. This resolution was passed on 25 May 1993 in the face of the "serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991, and as a response to the threat to international peace and security posed by those serious violations". The ICTY is located in The Hague, The Netherlands.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was established by Security Council resolution 955 of 8 November 1994. Its purpose is the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994. It may also deal with the prosecution of Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations of international law committed in the territory of neighbouring States during the same period.
AI is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. AI's vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
HRW is an organization based in USA dedicated to protect the human rights of people around the world. More than 150 lawyers, journalists, academics, and country experts of many nationalities and diverse backgrounds work for HRW around the globe.
The purpose of the FIDH is to advance the implementation of all the rights defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the other international instruments protecting human rights. The FIDH brings together 115 human rights organisations from 90 countries. It provides them with an unparalleled network of expertise and solidarity, as well as a clear guide to the procedures of international organisations.
Afronet's objectives include to facilitate the implementation by African states of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and other regional treaties and instruments adopted by African states for the enhancement of living standards in Africa and also promote awareness of other international human rights procedures, standards and obligations to which African states are party.
This page contains names of human rights organizations, other organizations doing substantial amounts of human rights work, and resources (such as libraries and internet-based information) of use to human rights activists and researchers.
The Washington College of Law (WCL) established the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in 1990. The Center provides hands-on legal experiences for interested WCL students; coordinates and facilitates faculty scholarship on relevant subjects; and is a resource to the international community on human rights and humanitarian law issues.
The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) is a non-governmental organization (NGO), founded in 1991 by a group of prominent human rights defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean. CEJIL's principle objective is to achieve the full implementation of international human rights norms in the member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) through the use of the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights and other international protection mechanisms.
Non-governmental organisation that strives to promote, uphold and strengthen human rights. The organisation has had a proud history since its inception in 1979 of fighting oppression and the abuse of human rights in South Africa.
INTERIGHTS is an international legal center which develops and promotes the legal protection of human rights worldwide. Set up as a charity in 1982, for 21 years we have been working hard to legally protect human rights, and have become a highly respected and far-reaching organisation in the global human rights field.
At least 1,200 people were executed in 2007 and many more were killed by the state, in secret, in countries including China, Mongolia and Viet Nam. The figures come from Amnesty International's yearly statistics, which say that at least 1,252 people were executed in 24 countries and at least 3,347 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. Up to 27,500 people are estimated to be on death row across the world. April 2008.
The time has come to abolish the death penalty worldwide. The case for abolition becomes more compelling with each passing year. Everywhere experience shows that executions brutalize those involved in the process. Nowhere has it been shown that the death penalty has any special power to reduce crime or political violence. In country after country, it is used disproportionately against the poor or against racial or ethnic minorities. It is also used as a tool of political repression. It is imposed and inflicted arbitrary. It is an irrevocable punishment, resulting inevitably in the execution of people innocent of any crime. It is a violation of fundamental human rights. October 2007.
This year the World Day, organised by the World Coalition, is devoted to the theme "The Death Penalty: A Failure of Justice", drawing attention to violations of international standards, including the right to a fair trial, in cases in which the death penalty is applied. October 2006.
During 2004, more than 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries and at least 7,395 were sentenced to death in 64 countries, said Amnesty International. Releasing its annual worldwide statistics on the use of capital punishment, Amnesty International called on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, currently meeting in Geneva, to condemn the death penalty as a violation of fundamental human rights.
This Second Optional to the ICCPR, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, entered into force in 1991. It provides for the total abolition of the death penalty but allows states parties to retain the death penalty in time of war if they make a reservation to that effect at the time of ratifying or acceding to the Protocol.
Created in Roma in May 2002, the Coalition gathers NGOs, Bar associations, unions, local governements, all kind of organizations who are attached to the struggle against death penalty and want to coordinate their efforts of lobbying and action in an international level.
While international documents have restricted and in some cases even banned the death penalty, its application is still not against customary international law. This page keeps a comprehensive list of resources on the subjetc.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is marking the International Day of the Disappeared on 30 August by calling on the international community to renew its commitment to addressing the plight of missing persons and their families. In addition, the ICRC is unveiling a report entitled Missing Persons – A Hidden Tragedy, which calls attention to the tragic predicament –all too often ignored– of people unaccounted for in connection with armed conflict and other situations of violence, and of their families. August 2007.
On December 20, 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the "International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance". This new instrument constitutes an invaluable tool to combat the impunity of authors of enforced disappearances. It establishes a set of mechanisms at the national and international levels that will enable States parties to prevent effectively enforced disappearances. December 2006.
FEDEFAM is a nongovernmental organization formed by associations of relatives of the disappeared in countries of Latin America and the Caribbean which have or are currently practicing forced disappearance. FEDEFAM is a non-profit humanitarian organization, independent of all political or religious doctrines and institutions.
AFAD is a new coalition gathering organizations that work for the "disappeared" in several South Asian Countries. It's core members include the Families of Victims of Involuntary
Disappearances from the Philippines, the Organization of Parents and Family Members of the Disappeared (OPFMD) from Sri Lanka, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the KONTRAS
Amnesty's new report: "Leave us in peace! Targeting civilians in Colombia's internal armed conflict" says that despite increasing reports of forced internal displacement, attacks against social and human rights activists and killings by security forces, Colombian authorities are attempting to paint a positive picture. October 2008.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one that deals with the entire spectrum of human rights and civil liber ties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. ACRI’s work encompasses litigation and legal advocacy, education, and public outreach as the most effective way in which to build toward our long-term vision of a just and democratic society that respects the equal rights of all its members. March 2008 (pdf version).
In this report the UN Secretary-General emphasized that the burden of reporting obligations under the human rights treaty bodies were straining the resources of Member States and the Secretariat, and that non-reporting had become a very serious concern. He proposed that "the committees craft a more coordinated approach and standardize their varied reporting requirements" and that "each State should be allowed to produce a single report summarizing its adherence to the full range of international human rights treaties to which it is a party."
This website is designed to offer information on the activities of treaty bodies and to encourage NGOs and individuals to participate to their work. It includes a calendar of treaty bodies sessions, a section on status of reporting of countries worldwide and a section on "take action" with suggested campaigns to promote the work of treaty bodies.
The Human Rights Committee was established to monitor the implementation of the Covenant and the Protocols to the Covenant in the territory of States parties. It is composed of 18 independent experts who are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights. The Committee convenes three times a year for sessions of three weeks' duration, normally in March at United Nations headquarters in New York and in July and November at the United Nations Office in Geneva.
The information provided in this site encompasses a range of data concerning the application of the UN human rights treaty system by its monitoring treaty bodies since their inauguration in the 1970's.
Several NGO state in this document that the process of treaty body reform has focused on matters of form and procedure as well as on "capacity building". They believe that, to truly enhance the system, reform should also address underlying problems such as: the difficulties faced by the OHCHR in processing reports and ensuring appropriate follow-up, because of inadequate resources; the methodology used in the consideration of reports by treaty bodies; the lack of political will that determines non-reporting by certain States parties; and the insufficient independence and/or expertise of some treaty body members. June 2003.
Over 130 participants from the Asian NGOs Consultation on Vienna+10 gathered in Bangkok, Thailand, from 15-16 December 2003, to assess the human rights situation over the last 10 years in the region, in the light of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action which was the outcome of the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in June 1993 (doc format).
On 25 June 1993 in Vienna, Austria, representatives of 171 States adopted by consensus the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights. This marks the culmination of a long process of review and debate over the status of human rights machinery in the world. It also marks the beginning of a renewed effort to strengthen and further implement the body of human rights instruments that have been painstakingly constructed on the foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948.
The World Conference on Human Rights, held in 1993, adopted by consensus the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA) in which it called for a review of the progress made in the implementation of the Declaration in five years on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Review provides a framework for a comprehensive and future-oriented evaluation of the promotion and protection of human rights at both international and national levels.
For the first time ever, CIVICUS has brought together all the commitments made by national governments to protect the rights of citizens and organizations to exist and take an active part in shaping policies and practices of governments and institutions of their country. The Compendium of International Legal Instruments and Other Intergovernmental Commitments Concerning Core Civil Society Rights is a dynamic tool to help protect the rights of civil society. February 2010 (pdf).
HURIDOCS is a global network of organisations concerned with more effective ways of using information for the cause of human rights. HURIDOCS provides a number of services that will lead to more effective information work by its constituency.
The Inter-American Institute of Human Rights is an independent, international institution devoted to education, promotion and research in the field of human rights in the Americas. It was created in 1980 under an agreement between the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Republic of Costa Rica.
One of the most active human rights institutions on the African continent, the primary focus area of the Centre is human rights law in Africa. Highlights in its history since the Centre was established in 1986 include the involvement of members of the Centre in the writing of the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the contribution the Centre has made to legal education in respect of human rights on the continent through its academic programmes and research outputs.
Non-profit, non-governmental pan-African organisation headquartered in the Gambia. The Institute is committed to contributing to the development of the African human rights system through its programme activities. We are dedicated to making the human rights treaties of the African Union as effective as possible. The Institute works to strengthen the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights with whom it has observer status.
The center aims at contributing to the establishment of a human rights culture and peace in Southern Africa through education, monitoring and campaigning; and contributing to the peace process by systematically collecting and disseminating information related to violence and human rights violations and to inform and educate on human rights systems and instruments.
The University of Minnesota Human Rights Library was inaugurated December 1988 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The principal focus of the Human Rights Library is to help train effective human rights professionals and volunteers. The Library assists human rights advocates, monitors, students, and educators.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which supports, monitors and protects human rights defenders throughout the year, is publishing its 2010 Annual Report. The report focuses on the year-round fight for human rights throughout the world.
Governments responsible for serious human rights violations have over the past year intensified attacks against human rights defenders and organizations that document abuse, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2010. January 2010.
The idea of outreaching to human rights defenders behind bars has a deep sense of respect for human rights based on an ethical commitment for the concepts of human dignity and human equality. It is precisely the lack of such an ethical commitment which is undermining respect for human rights, while sustaining social injustice. December 2008.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders which supports, monitors and protects human rights defenders throughout the year, is publishing its 2007 Annual Report. The report focuses on the year-round fight for human rights and includes contributions from Hina Jilani, Desmond Tutu, Barbara Hendricks, José Ramos Horta, Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Wei Jingsheng. It celebrates the steadfast protest of all human rights defenders. June 2008 (pdf).
Front Line was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk, people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Front Line aims to address some of the needs identified by defenders themselves, including protection, networking, training and access to international bodies that can take action on their behalf.
The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) published the English version of the annual report of their joint programme, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. The 2006 Annual Report of the Observatory documents acts of repression faced by 1,311 human rights defenders, as well as obstacles to freedom of association, in about 90 countries around the world. March 2007.
On 14 April 2005, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), published its annual report for 2004. This report addresses the cases of 1,154 defenders and over 200 organisations committed to the defence of human rights (NGOs, trade unions, etc.) targeted by acts of repression in about 90 countries. April 2005.
"I come here as a survivour", said Héctor Mondragón, assessor of the Coordination of Land Workers, Indigenous and Black entities of Colombia, speaking at the World Dignity Forum held during the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Mondragón analyzed violence in Colombia, its roots, the systematic massacres and human rights violations against peasants, indigenous people and workers. February 2005.
The Bill, which will be voted in on 14 December, prohibits foreign financing of civil society groups. It was developed by the Zimbabwean government to arbitrarily restrict the work of human rights organizations.
The new Annual Report of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders highlights the increasingly hostile situation confronted by defenders over the world because of the erosion of human rights standards. April 2004.
ARRC is a non-profit, non-government, regional organization founded in 1992 to popularize and institutionalize human rights education in the Asia-Pacific region towards mobilizing people to participate meaningfully in transforming a society sensitive to human rights and in evolving a culture of peace, democracy and justice. It aims at serving as an institute and a network for human rights education in the Asia-Pacific region, providing human rights training, workshops, development and exchange of instructional and other relevant materials, research and HRE campaigns.
Founded in 1988, the People's Decade of Human Rights Education (PDHRE-International) is a non-profit, international service organization that works directly and indirectly with its network of affiliates to develop and advance pedagogies for human rights education relevant to people's daily lives in the context of their struggles for social and economic justice and democracy.
Following up to a suggestion of the 1983 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 49/184 of 23 December 1994 proclaimed the 10-year period beginning on 1 January 1995 the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education and welcomed the Plan of Action for the Decade contained in the report of the Secretary-General.
HREA is an international non-governmental organisation that supports human rights learning; the training of activists and professionals; the development of educational materials and programming; and community-building through on-line technologies.
The AI Human Rights Education program (HRE) was established in order to facilitate the teaching of human rights. Designed to support teachers of kindergarten through college as well as educators working in non-formal settings such as community associations and cultural forums, HRE is dedicated to promoting the human rights principles and positive value system that are set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The prohibition against torture in international law is, like that against slavery or genocide, absolute. Torture is impermissible under any circumstances, including war, public emergency or terrorist threat. The prohibition is so strong and universally accepted that it is now a fundamental principle of customary international law. This means that even States which have not ratified any of the international treaties explicitly prohibiting torture are banned from using it against anyone, anywhere. However, there is no forum at the international level to which an individual can make a complaint based solely on a violation of customary international law, so such violations often carry consequences only where there is political will among other States to hold one another responsible. August 2008 (pdf).
This manual describes the ideas, the techniques, the achievements, the standards of governmental behaviour and the means of implementing those standards that have emerged from the efforts of anti-torture activists around the world over the past 25 years and more (pdf version).
This convention bans torture under all circumstances and establishes the UN Committee against Torture. In particular, it defines torture, requires states to take effective legal and other measures to prevent torture, declares that no state of emergency, other external threats, nor orders from a superior officer or authority may be invoked to justify torture. It forbids countries to return a refugee to his country if there is reason to believe he/she will be tortured, and requires host countries to consider the human rights record of the person's native country in making this decision. It also forbids activities which do not rise to the level of torture, but which constitute cruel or degrading treatment.
The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture adopted in December 2002, provides a novel and realistic approach to preventing this human rights violation and crime against humanity. The manual, produced by the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR) and the Association for the Prevention of
Torture (APT), aims at putting this international instrument into practice. Pdf format.
The Committee against Torture was established pursuant to article 17 of the Convention to monitor its implementation. The 10-member Committee began to function on 1 January 1988, six months after the entry into force of the Convention, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1984.
The Convention provides non-judicial preventive machinery to protect detainees. It is based on a system of visits by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).
As stated by the Eurepean Convention, "the Committee shall, by means of visits, examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty with a view to strengthening, if necessary, the protection of such persons from torture and from inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." The CPT's members are independent and impartial experts from a variety of backgrounds. They are for example lawyers, medical doctors and specialists in prison or police matters. They are elected for a four-year term by the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe's decision-making body, and can be re-elected twice. One member is elected in respect of each Contracting State.
OMCT is today the largest international coalition of NGOs fighting against torture,summary executions, forced disappearances and all other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in order to preserve Human Rights. It has at its disposal a network, SOS Torture, consisting of some 240 non-governmental organisations which act as sources of information. Its urgent interventions reach daily more than 90,000 governmental and intergovernmental institutions, non-governmental associations, pressure and interest groups.
Founded in 1977 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) is an independent non-governmental organisation working worldwide to prevent torture and ill-treatment.
Ever since it was founded, in 1974, ACAT (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture) has campaigned on behalf of people who are tortured, detained in inhuman conditions, sentenced to death or "disappeared", whatever their origins, political opinions or religious beliefs. The International Federation of ACAT (FIACAT) brings together ACAT national associations from four continents, and has been serving them since 1987.
The IRCT is an independent, international health professional organisation that promotes and supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and the prevention of torture through nearly 200 rehabilitation centres and programmes around the world.
In most Middle Eastern countries, a woman can't pass her nationality to her children or spouse like a man can. In many countries around the world, children are relegated stateless because of who their parents are (or aren't). In this brief report, AWID explores the importance of nationality to full civic participation and human rights. May 2006.
International IDEA's objective is to promote and advance sustainable democracy and to improve and consolidate electoral processes world-wide. The topic of gender equality in politics is on the agenda of many international, regional and local organizations. IDEA's gender programme aims to emphasize not only the quantitative aspects of women's representation, but also the qualitative impact of women in decision-making processes.
The GWIP program--whose goal is full integration of women into the political process--is a partnership between The Asia Foundation, the African-American Institute (AAI), America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST), and Participa, a Chilean NGO. These four partners will work with and through cooperating organizations to implement the Global Women in Politics Program in their respective geographic regions.
Founded in 1997, WHRnet aims to provide reliable, comprehensive, and timely information and analyses on women's human rights in English, Spanish and French. WHRnet updates readers on women's human rights issues and policy developments globally and provides information and analyses that support advocacy actions. A team of regionally based content specialists provides regular News, Interviews, Perspectives, Alert and Campaign information, and Web Highlights.
WHRnet is a project of the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID).
WEDO is an international advocacy organization that seeks to increase the power of women worldwide as policymakers at all levels in governments, institutions and forums to achieve economic and social justice, a healthy and peaceful planet, and human rights for all.
IFES designs voter and civic education programs tailored to gender-specific needs that can be incorporated into every countries social and cultural realities. Recently, IFES has worked with local partners in El Salvador, Ghana,,Indonesia, Liberia, Mali, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Africa, West Bank and Gaza to educate female voters and in so doing, to strengthen civil society.
The Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch fights against the dehumanization and marginalization of women, promoting women's equal rights and human dignity. The realization of women's rights is a global struggle based on universal human rights and the rule of law.
Amnesty International mobilizes AI activists, the public and US policymakers to promote and defend the human rights of women and girls around the world. This site keeps up-to-date information about the situation of women's human rights world-wide.