Human Rights Council – 8th session
NGO Statement on Item 3 – Wednesday, 4 June 2008
The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) presents this statement on behalf of the Coalition of Non-governmental Organizations against Torture (CINAT) , to complement our written submission.
When the former Commission on Human Rights established the mandate of Special Rapporteur on torture in 1985, it responded to the need for a mechanism with global reach, empowered to respond effectively to credible allegations of torture and other ill-treatment.
Since the establishment of the mandate, the Special Rapporteur has made a significant contribution to the global campaign for the eradication of torture and ill-treatment and has played a vital role in addressing these violations.
However, despite the pivotal role that the Special Rapporteur performs, this mechanism is often subjected to attempts by governments to undermine its valuable and necessary work. For example, the Special Rapporteur’s public reports document repeated failures by many states to respond at all or in full to urgent and routine communications. Several states have failed to respond positively to requests from the Special Rapporteur to undertake a visit, and some requests have been outstanding for ten years or more.
Mr. President, the CINAT believes that the Human Rights Council has a critical role to play in supporting the Special Rapporteur by taking appropriate action to encourage states to co-operate with the mandate-holder.
The CINAT calls on the Human Rights Council to:
Renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
Urge states to fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur, including by responding promptly and in full to his urgent appeals, communications and requests for visits;
Carefully review the reports of the Special Rapporteur and take action against states which persistently fail to cooperate with the mandate-holder.
Thank you Mr. President.