Togo has been a party-signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture since 18 November 1987. Under Article 19 of that Convention, it is required to present initial and periodic reports on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention in its internal legislation. It presented its initial report in September 2006, 16 years late.
The Committee Against
Torture considered this report at its 36th session in May 2006. Several
non-governmental organisations, including
FIACAT in partnership with ACAT-Togo ,
presented alternatives reports to held the Committee's experts in their work.
FIACAT in partnership with ACAT-Togo , presented alternatives reports to held the Committee's experts in their work.
On 2 July 2007, ACAT-Togo held a workshop (Programme only available in French) on the monitoring of the CAT recommendations, in partnership with FIACAT and OMCT, in order to take stock, one year on from the publication of those recommendations, of the extent to which they had been implemented by the government. The workshop was attended by many members of Togolese civil society as well as members of the government, the police and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
At the end of that workshop, the associations adopted a final declaration (only available in French) noting the efforts made by the government since 2006, and urging it to bring Togolese law into line with its international undertakings as swiftly as possible.
The government was asked to:
- swiftly incorporate into the body of Togolese law a definition of the crime of torture and the penalties for it in accordance with Article 1 of the Convention;
- take all necessary measures to ensure that any person denouncing torture or ill-treatment be protected against any act of intimidation;
- combat impunity by setting-up an effective and independent system of criminal enquiry into cases of torture and other ill-treatment;
- make every effort swiftly to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).
A delegation composed of members of ACAT-Togo, FIACAT and OMCT met the following authorities to present this final declaration and discuss ways of effectively implementing its recommendations:
- Mr Yawovi Madji AGBOYIBO, Prime Minister of Togo,
- Mrs Célestine Akouvi AÏDAM, Minister for Human Rights,
- Mrs Evelyne Afiwa K. HOHOUETO, coordinator of the judicial modernisation programme,
- Mme Olatokunbo IGE, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
- M. Koffi KOUNTE, President of the National Human Rights Commission,
The associations attending confirmed their willingness to support the government in the implementation of these reforms. The overall result of these meetings was to establish a constructive dialogue between the public authorities and the members of civil society. Everyone recognised the need for NGOs to be involved on a regular basis in the drawing-up of the periodic reports by the State and in the reform of Togolese law.
On 5 July 2007, the delegation held a press conference to present to the Togolese media the recommendations of the CAT, the results of the workshops and the priorities of ACAT-Togo, FIACAT and OMCT with regard to the prevention and prohibition of torture in Togo. That conference was covered by several radio stations and national newspapers, such as:
Togo Presse (3 July 2007)
Liberté info (6 July 2007)
Golf info (6 July 2007)
 ACAT-Togo – Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture, Amnesty International Togo, ICCB – International Catholic Child Bureau, CAAIT - Collective of Associations Against Impunity in Togo, Club RFI Togo, CCWT - Consultative Council for Women in Togo, NHRC - National Human Rights Commission, Enfants Radieux, FIACAT – International Federation of ACAT, LTDH - Togolese League for Human Rights, OMCT – World Organisation Against Torture, UCJG - Christian Youth Union, WAO-Africa - World Association for Orphans and Abandoned Children.