The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) has called on States to put their legal obligations under the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Torture into practice. The call was made last month, at the UN International Day Convention in Support of Victims of Torture held in Geneva, Switzerland.
The OMCT called for fundamental consensus against inhuman treatment or punishment which has been breached by various societies and regions as the world marked the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
In his statement at the convention, Secretary General of the OMCT, Gerald Staberock pointed out the need to address the fact that torture victims have the right to justice and reparations and he calls for additional efforts to establish independent investigation mechanisms against torture.
He said: “After thirty years, it is time to make this absolute prohibition a reality. At its heart should be a see change that victims have rights. Those who are acting criminal in the name of the state must no more count on leniency. We have to come to realize that a crime committed in the name of the state makes it not more tolerable but far worse. A right without effective remedy in practice is deprived of its meaning.”
The OMCT called on all State parties to recognize the competence of the UN Committee against torture to allow individual cases to be submitted under article 22 of the Convention.
“The Day for Victims of Torture is an opportunity for states to accept the competence of the Committee to examine individual cases, and to show willingness to tackle impunity. It creates the needed venue for justice and redress that is critical when remedies at the domestic level are inexistent or ineffective, or when there is a general climate of impunity, “said OMCT.
The OMCT recalls that implementing the UN Convention is not an abstract duty but starts with making sure that victims are protected and have real remedies to obtain justice and reparation.