During the meeting of the International Council in June 2012 in Brussels, FIACAT and the affiliated ACAT have adopted new texts, which strenghthen the relationships between the Federation and its members. The FIACAT Charter was amended and a Mission Statement and a Charter for Good Governance was adopted.
Although torture is absolutely prohibited under different international conventions, it remains in practice in over half of the world’s countries. In the same way, too many countries still apply the death penalty.
ACAT was created in 1974 out of Hélène Engel’s and Edith du Tertre’s outrage: “I cannot call myself a Christian and go on living as if I knew nothing about it”.
Since its creation in 1987, FIACAT has animated and supported the ACAT network, has represented them internationally and has strengthened the effectiveness of their actions.
We defend article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
We believe in the inherent dignity of every human being. As the Bible reminds us, “When God created human beings, God made them in God likeness” (Genesis, 5.1).
Living in the hope which the Gospel brings us, we wish to follow what Jesus has taught us to do in our relations with our brothers and sisters who endure suffering (Matthew, 25,31)
We, ACATs, are:
For the abolition of torture: it is a serious denial of human dignity;
For the abolition of the death penalty: no one may take the life of another;
Christians of all denominations who have come together in common ecumenical action;
Independent of political parties, governments or sectarian organisations;
Committed to all human beings, with no exceptions.
We are convinced that we must:
Act to prevent and abolish torture and the death penalty;
Speak out against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;
Remind Christians of their responsibility to humanity;
Pray for victims and persecutors;
Inform, alert and raise awareness among the general public, governments and Churches;
Help the victims of torture and those close to them.
We count on FIACAT to:
Represent the ACATs before international and regional organisations;
Protect the ACATs from governments that do not respect international human rights law or international humanitarian law;
Help the ACATs to work as a network and strengthen each ACAT’s work;
Facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences, which will enrich everyone;
Enable the ACATs to shed light on local situations internationally.