World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
OMCT was founded in 1986 to respond to the needs expressed by many non-governmental organisations (NGO), especially those in the South. OMCT was created in order to link these NGOs into a network, and offer them logistic and legal support. Based in Geneva, OMCT’s International Secretariat serves as the “alert system”. It ensures the widespread and immediate transmission of cases of torture that are reported from the field. Local NGOs are naturally better placed to judge for themselves the truthfulness of reported cases of torture and to evaluate the best means to fight it. However, their capacity to act is limited by a lack of means and a partial knowledge of various international treaties.
Their integration into a global network, the SOS-Torture Network ensures that information will be quickly disseminated to the recipients who are most likely to react effectively according to the type of human rights violation.
Violence against Women Programme
OMCT’s “Violence against Women” programme aims to provide protection to women who are victims of torture, or threatened by torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, taking into consideration the specific nature of the violence used against them. OMCT also aims to ensure that the respect and promotion of women’s human rights becomes an irreversible reality, at the same rate as men’s rights, and that problems that are specific to women and the violation of their rights be taken into consideration by the relevant bodies of the United Nations (treaty monitoring bodies) and be granted greater attention.
The “Violence against Women” programme intervenes through:
- Urgent appeals: OMCT reports and denounces individual cases of torture against women to relevant authorities so that they may prosecute the public or private actors of these acts of violence and put in place reparation and rehabilitation mechanisms for victims.
- Alternative reports: OMCT publishes Alternative reports and other publications for the United Nations’ committees, particularly for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
- Research: OMCT participates in the studies conducted by the United Nations on violations perpetrated against women.
- Lobbying: OMCT works within international bodies so that gender issues be integrated into the various UN and regional mechanisms for the protection of individuals.
- Training: OMCT hosts workshops with NGOs and State representatives on the issues related to violence against women.
- The World Organisation Against Torture website, http://www.omct.org/