On 23 March 2020, as the world comes together to ensure the safety and security of individuals and communities while reinforcing our shared humanity, the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) releases its updated and extended 2020-22 strategic plan designed to help strengthen institutions, policies and practices toward reducing risks and incidences of torture and ill-treatment through the application of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).

(CTI) releases its updated and extended 2020-22 strategic plan

The 2020-22 Strategy emphasises CTI’s support for governments working to overcome obstacles that inhibit the full implementation of UNCAT, such as gaps in critical resources, institutions, human capacity and technical expertise.

That torture and human rights abuses remain entrenched in myriad countries across almost all regions is a central, motivating driver underpinning the work of CTI. During the recent Human Rights Council’s 43rd session in March, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, H.E. Jeppe Kofod, reminded UN Member States, “Torture is one of the most critical attacks on fundamental human rights. It can never be justified. [-] It is crucial that all countries, both parties to the Convention and non-parties, continue to work on strengthening national safeguards to prevent torture.”

The work of CTI draws on the importance and benefits of implementing UNCAT as the principal international instrument that offers a step-by-step framework on how to effectively implement policies, legislation and prevention responses to torture and ill-treatment, and which provides States flexibility to adapt them to their national constitutional, legal and practical realities.

Launched in 2014 as an inter-governmental, cross-regional endeavour of six core countries (Chile, Denmark, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Morocco), and supported by a full-time Secretariat based in Geneva, CTI aims to strengthen institutions, policies and practices enabling dignified, rule-based governance that reduces and prevents the risks of torture and ill-treatment. CTI embraces operating modalities that include peer to peer dialogue, sharing best practices and evidence-based recommendations for torture prevention, knowledge transfer, institutional engagement with government ministries and other relevant stakeholders, provision of technical support for capacity building and institution strengthening among others. As the CTI enters the mid-years of its 10-year initiative, it continues these efforts and others, notably increasing awareness of UNCAT’s benefits, and promoting UNCAT through bilateral/multilateral diplomacy and relevant United Nations’ and regional mechanisms.

In support of CTI, H.E. Retno LP Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, speaking also at HRC43, reiterated the core values of CTI’s peer-to-peer engagement and exchange of technical expertise, stating, “International cooperation will become an important step to help us better understand different dimensions of implementation.”

Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat, reflected on the updated strategy,

“To help States effectively prevent and eradicate torture and ill-treatment, we must better understand the conditions in which it occurs as well as the complex, multifaceted challenges States often face in the journey toward and following ratification. The CTI and the 2020-22 Strategy are extensions of this, elucidating actionable, pragmatic tools and resources to support, accelerate and buttress countries’ efforts toward universal ratification and implementation.”

To learn more, please contact the CTI Secretariat on info@cti2024.org, or reach out to the Permanent Missions of Chile, Denmark, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia or Morocco, in Geneva or New York.

To access the CTI 2020-22 strategy plan, visit here. The strategy will soon be made available in Arabic, French and Spanish.

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