OMCT - World Organisation Against Torture

01/06/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/06/2020 07:25

OMCT welcomes new members into its network

Paso del Norte Human Rights Centre (CDH Paso del Norte) is the most important NGO fighting against serious human rights violations in the region of Chihuahua, one of the most violent States in Mexico. Since 2001, it has operated in a context marked by violence against women, executions, in particular by military forces, corruption and a climate of impunity, thus facing significant security risks. The organisation's main area of work is the comprehensive defence of the rights and accompaniment of victims of human rights violations, with a strong focus on torture, including specialized support to victims, expertise in the Istanbul Protocol and litigation.

Established in 2002, Promo-LEX focuses on promoting democratic values, the development of a strong civil society, and implementation of internationally recognised human rights standards in the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian region. Its young human rights activists provide pro bono legal assistance to victims of rights abuse, undertake strategic litigation, conduct human rights research and monitoring, and lobby relevant agencies. They also lead human rights and democracy trainings and work to develop and strengthen the capacity of fellow NGOs, particularly those in the Transnistrian region. The organization's priority issues for research and advocacy include access to justice and effective remedy for residents of the Transnistrian region, freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, respect for the rights to liberty and security of the person, and efforts to stop violence against women. It also runs a program to increase citizens' trust in the democratic process in Moldova.

Active since 2007, Xumek works on the protection and promotion of human rights in Argentina. Considered the most active and well-known anti-torture NGO in the Mendoza region, Xumek carries out strategic litigation at the national, regional and international level, including on extrajudicial killings and torture. Among others, Xumek recently successfully litigated a torture case where six guards were sentenced to long prison terms for the torture in 2010 of an 18-year old detainee, Willy Vargas, to whom OMCT also provided social assistance through the Victims Assistance Fund.

The Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) is a coalition of Chinese and international human rights NGOs with virtual and physical offices in Mainland and Greater China and North America. In China, the network cannot obtain legal registration as a non-profit organization and faces persecution, therefore the international office plays a key role in sustaining the network. Over the past 11 years, CHRD has become a key monitor and source of information on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in China. It also focuses on strengthening the capacity of and supporting local Chinese civil society to prevent torture, assist victims, and hold perpetrators accountable; helping efforts to provide psychological and social support; raising public awareness about torture; providing emergency humanitarian aid grants to victims of torture; helping to improve access to justice for persecuted human rights defenders and victims of torture through legal aid grants and support for local groups providing aid.

Founded in 2004, Public Verdict Foundation provides comprehensive support to victims of ill-treatment by law enforcement agencies in Russia, empowers people with legal knowledge and skills, expands legal counsel networks and fosters expertise in the sphere of human rights and law enforcement. It is the only human rights organization in Russia that offers a combination of legal, psychological, and information support and carries out comprehensive researches of the Russian law enforcement system from the point of view of protection and redress.

Comisión de Derechos Humanos (COMISEDH) is dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in Peru. Its work focuses on torture,sexual violence against women and girls, transitional justice,collective rights and indigenous people's rights.Since its establishment in 1979, it has been at the forefront of the fight against torture and one of the driving forces behind the criminalization of torture in the country in 1998. Since then, COMISEDH has provided comprehensive assistance to victims of torture and their families. In particular, it represents survivors and their family members in their quest for justice for torture suffered both during the internal armed conflict (1980-2000) and today, to promote accountability and obtain comprehensive reparation and rehabilitation. The scope of its work is national, with emphasis on the central-southern Andean region, whose population, with high levels of poverty and exclusion, was the most affected by the internal armed conflict.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) is the leading non-governmental human rights organisation in Hungary, working on the protection of human dignity and the rule of law through legal and public advocacy actions. HHC provides help to refugees, detainees and victims of law enforcement violence. A long-standing partner of the OMCT, the HHC has collaborated on several occasions with the OMCT Brussels Office on cases of attacks on civil society and human rights defenders in Hungary and related efforts to take action at the EU level.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) provides support and protection to human rights defenders through the publication of urgent appeals and reports, campaigning and advocacy work, trainings and documentation of human rights violations. GCHR, which was founded in 2011, is based in Lebanon and documents the environment for defenders in the Gulf region and neighbouring countries, specifically Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The Human Rights Association (IHD) is the oldest and largest human rights organization in Turkey, with the sole goal to carry out activities to protect and promote 'human rights and freedoms.' It was founded in 1986 by 98 human rights defenders and has today 28 branches, six representative offices, and 7,945 members. It works closely with the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership between the OMCT and FIDH.

ThePublic Foundation Golos Svobody(Voice of Freedom) was established in 2005 in Kyrgyystan. Its main goal is to protect and promote the fundamental civil and political rights in the Kygryz Republic at both the local and national levels. The organisation is actively involved in criminal legislation reforms, trial monitoring, monitoring of places of deprivation of liberty, delivery of full-scale legal aid to victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and providing psychological and rehabilitation services. It is also active in promoting the implementation and integration of international standards and principles into national legislation and practice of law enforcement bodies and providing support to human rights defenders. With a particular focus on anti-torture litigation, it has recently won compensation to victims of torture for the failure of an effective investigation. This was the first time that the Kyrgyz courts provided such compensation on the basis of a decision of the UN Human Rights Committee. The organisation is also part of the Kyrgyz Coalition Against Torture.