Dear Members of the SOS-Torture Network,
We allow ourselves to contact you for your support and participation in the upcoming 10th of December, the Human Rights Day.
As part of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) global campaign that many of you have already endorsed ‘Nothing can justify torture’ we are launching 10 days of activism against torture and ill-treatment.
Each day, from the 1st of December to the 10th of December, we will bring to light on a dedicated page of OMCT’s website, the struggle of ten human rights defenders against torture (the portraits will be available in English, French and Spanish). We hope to illustrate through these profiles the different features of the global fight against torture in different regions of the world in order to raise broad public support to the global cause against torture.
We kindly invite you to discover the ten portraits (from Colombia, India, Kenya, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay) but as well to join the initiative bycirculating them among your respective websites and networks or to make use of these portray or refer to them as you may feel fit. As in previous years we are also able to refer to your initiatives as part of nothing can justify torture on our website.
WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as "ASEAN"), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
REAFFIRMING our adherence to the purposes and principles of ASEAN as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, in particular the respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance;
REAFFIRMING FURTHER our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and other international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties;
REAFFIRMING ALSO the importance of ASEAN’s efforts in promoting human rights, including the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region;
CONVINCED that this Declaration will help establish a framework for human rights cooperation in the region and contribute to the ASEAN community building process;
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) welcomes the adoption of the UN Committee Against Torture’s General Comment on Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture. This is an important step forward in ensuring that torture victims receive adequate redress and reparations including rehabilitation services.
Miriam Reventlow, Head of Legal and Advocacy for the IRCT, says, “For too long, States have ignored their obligation to provide rehabilitation services to torture victims and left it to NGOs to deliver these crucial services. This General Comment not only makes clear that providing rehabilitation services is a clear obligation of States regardless of available resources, it also provides a very valuable contribution to determining what these services must contain and when and by whom should provide them.”