CTI’s awareness raising activities are aimed at explaining the benefits of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) and how applying its provisions can strengthen institutions, policies and practices and enable dignified, rule-based governance that reduces and prevents the risks and behaviours that constitute modern day torture and related violations. To do so, we highlight critically important issues, showcase good practices, and develop and share latest developments and innovations in torture prevention, response and eradication.
The UN Convention against Torture is a landmark treaty that advises parties on basic legislative, institutional and practical elements necessary for fair, intimidation-free and transparent systems of governance and justice.Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of CTI Secretariat
CTI Awareness Raising Activities
CTI’s Annual Forums
CTI’s Annual Forum provides a platform for discussions on the latest innovative developments in tackling torture and related abuses. The Annual Forum provides space for CTI’s Friends, and other invited guests, to hear about progress on reaching our goals and discuss experiences and challenges concerning the implementation of the Convention and topical issues.
Forums are routinely attended by Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives, as well as leading thematic experts from internationally and nationally renowned non-governmental organisations, international and regional organisations, and academia. They are biannually held in Geneva, and in various locations outside of Geneva during alternate years.
Our 2018 Annual Forum held in Geneva focused on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the prohibition against torture which enshrines it. Read more here.
During our 2017 Annual Forum held in New York, States and partners discussed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its interface with the CTI’s work to prevent torture through inter-State dialogue, cooperation and technical assistance. Read more here.
→ Check out our Events portal for more information here.
Dialogue at the United Nations in Geneva
CTI Core States are actively engaged in Geneva; it being the European home to the United Nations and the international centre for protecting and promoting human rights. CTI Core States participate in awareness-raising, information-sharing and promoting ratification/accession, implementation and reporting to UNCAT in Geneva through these relevant United Nations’ mechanisms:
- Human Rights Council (HRC)
- Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
- UN Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the HRC
- Deliberations of the four UN anti-torture entities: the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), the Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT), the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture
CTI regularly collaborates closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), including its treaty-body capacity-building programme, to identify future opportunities.
Every March during a high-level segment of the Human Rights Council, CTI makes a joint statement on progress and hosts a side event on a topical issue, drawing participation from around 80 States. CTI’s latest statement is here.
Meeting with visiting State representatives
Taking advantage of their presence in Geneva, CTI Ambassadors meet frequently with visiting fellows of the UN Trust Fund for LDCs and SIDS. They often return enthused about UNCAT ratification and implementation and become key collaborators in their country’s journey.
Expanding synergies at the UN in New York
As a number of UN Member States do not have permanent missions in Geneva, the UN Headquarters in New York is a key location for bilateral discussions with Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It is important that CTI stay up-to-date on discussions taking place in New York on security, counterterrorism, policing, and development agendas. Additionally, the CTI Core States aim to play a helpful role in aligning approaches between Geneva and New York.
CTI Regional Seminars and In-Country Visits and Seminars
CTI’s programme of regional seminars, technical workshops and in-country visits provide practical support and experience sharing for countries undergoing UNCAT implementation through peer to peer exchanges, knowledge transfer, and on the ground support to help resolve institutional gaps.
Engaging at the regional level with valued partners
A key focus of CTI’s engagement is understanding the value of exchanging experiences among peers. CTI has partnered with a range of regional and cross-regional organisations with the aim to share regional expertise regarding anti-torture tools and frameworks. Additionally, CTI exchanges good practices, experiences and challenges with countries who share similar legal, geo-political, historical and cultural institutions and frameworks.
Check out our partners here.
Working with civil society
Civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play a critical role in building and advancing the global movement of solidarity against torture and ill-treatment. Collaboration and partnerships are an integral part of the CTI’s operating philosophy. CTI works closely with international and regional organisations, anti-torture NGOs and independent thematic experts, many of whom also belong to CTI’s Group of Friends.
As experts in their fields, such groups bring an enormous wealth of knowledge and information, including:
- Sharing trends, new studies and developments in the field of torture prevention and rehabilitation, including legal and procedural frameworks, reporting challenges, and good State practices
- Running or endorsing advocacy and awareness raising campaigns towards UNCAT ratification, implementation and reporting
- Participating in national consultation processes on ratification, implementation and reporting
Read more about our consultation with international and regional organisations and NGOs held in Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland in June of 2018, on strategising for torture prevention and response.