Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

You are here : Home > News > CFSP Statements > June 2005 > Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Print this page Send this page

CFSP Statement
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Date of release : 26-06-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

On the occasion of the eighth United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26th June), the European Union underlines the priority which it attaches to the global eradication of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to the full rehabilitation of torture victims.

The EU recalls that there is an absolute prohibition placed on the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and that all States must ensure that they do not resort to these barbaric practices. The EU urges all States, which have not yet done so, to become parties to the International Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as a matter of priority and to co-operate with the relevant international mechanisms. Scrutiny and openness are essential factors in combating the insidious practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and, with this in mind, the EU also calls on all States to consider signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture as a matter of priority, which, once in force, will institute a innovative system of national and international visiting mechanisms to inspect places of detention. The EU welcomes the ratification of UNCAT during the course of the last year by Liberia, Mauritania and the Syrian Arab Republic; and the ratification of OPCAT by Argentina, Croatia, Liberia, Mali and Mexico.

The EU attaches immense importance to the UN’s role in fighting torture and supporting victims and underlines its support for the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture, the OHCHR, UNCAT, CPT and other mechanisms making valuable contributions in this field. The EU is continuing to undertake political, diplomatic and financial initiatives to combat torture within the framework of the EU Guidelines against Torture which were adopted by the Council in 2001. All EU Member States co-sponsored and actively supported the drafting and adoption of enforced resolutions against torture to the 59th session of the UN General Assembly and the 61st UN Commission on Human Rights. Moreover, the EU will shortly adopt a Regulation which prohibits the export and import of goods whose only practical use is to carry out capital punishment or to inflict torture. The export of goods which could be used for such purposes is also subjected to authorisation by EU Member State authorities. This welcome step will serve to further reinforce the global fight against torture.

The prevention of torture and the rehabilitation of torture victims are major priorities for funding under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). €16 million was allocated for prevention and rehabilitation projects in 2004 and torture will remain a strong EIDHR priority in 2005.

The EU takes this opportunity to pay tribute to the many NGOs and individuals working tirelessly for the prevention of torture and to alleviate the suffering of victims. The EU also welcomes the pivotal role played by the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and other organisations in mobilising public opinion on this important day in the UN calendar and resolves to continue and intensify its own efforts to secure a world free from torture.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration."

* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

This page was last modified on : 26-06-2005

Top Top