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FIACAT Activity Report - 2013

January 2014

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Message from the President

This year, 2013, saw FIACAT develop its guidance of ACATs before international and regional organisations, such as the United Nations, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the European Union and the Council of Europe.

This increasing guidance is manifested in different ways: drafting joint alternative reports for institutional bodies (Universal Periodic Review - UPR - in the context of the United Nations Human Rights Council) or treaty bodies (Human Rights Committee and Committee Against Torture (CAT)), meeting representatives of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and states’ permanent representations, composing recommendations, monitoring these recommendations in collaboration with relevant national authorities (government, parliament, judicial authorities, national human rights institutions), supporting ACATs in their advocacy activities and raising the awareness of the public, opinion leaders and political figures, among others.

Increasing guidance allows the ACATs to learn more about how international and regional human rights mechanisms work. Now is also the time to help them learn about legal procedures and advocacy techniques. This also offers the ACATs the opportunity to initiate or develop better dialogue with their political authorities so they can pursue more active collaboration at country level.

Such are the challenges a human rights organisation like ours has to face: knowing how to report states’ violations of the absolute prohibition of torture, any recourse to the death penalty or enforced disappearances without concession, while at the same time working with these very states to make their legislation compliant with international and regional human rights regulations and to ensure that these are genuinely applied, fighting against impunity, developing prevention policies, training staff and raising public awareness.

Sylvie Bukhari-de Pontual
President of FIACAT

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