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Atlas of Torture: Monitoring and Preventing Torture Worldwide – Building Upon the Work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

This project, which has started in autumn 2010 and is funded by the European Commission/EIDHR, has the objective of a comprehensive follow-up to the 2004-2010 activities of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (UNSRT) and the consolidation and further application of expertise within EU strategies of torture prevention and eradication.

The project is to contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights and the rule of law in countries visited by the current UNSRT, Manfred Nowak, and his team. Moreover, it is aimed at the prevention of torture and other forms of ill-treatment and the implementation of the provisions outlined in the UNCAT, its Optional Protocol, applicable regional instruments and the EU Guidelines on EU Policy towards Third Countries on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The project particularly aims at providing strong support to national civil society organisations in their endeavours to prevent and eradicate torture and ill-treatment by fighting impunity, establishing and effectively implementing safeguards and providing for effective monitoring of places of detention. In addition, it is to enhance the effectiveness of international procedures, such as the UNSRT. Despite the important functions of these international (and regional) mechanisms, they often suffer from a lack of resources for effective follow-up. By enabling civil society to take up this function, international mechanisms, and in particular the UNSRT, will be able to count on strong partners and reliable sources for the follow-up of implementation of their recommendations.


As an essential tool the project will work with the existing website www.atlas-of-torture.org on which country reports and developments in the field of torture prevention are documented since 2008 by the Human Dignity and Public Security team based at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.

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