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No to torture! - 30/06/2008

Campaign poster showing weapons

Fifty-seven countries, including 11 in the EU, are taking part in a campaign to raise awareness of the horrors of torture.

Torture is banned under international law, but it is still widely practiced in many countries - even some that have ratified the UN convention against torture. There are 400 000 torture survivors living in the EU, most of them refugees.

The EU is firmly committed to upholding the absolute prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Ending these practices is one of the main objectives of its human rights policy.

The "Torture is unacceptable"  campaign highlights projects the EU commission has sponsored around the world to end torture. Its key message is that all countries must take steps to end torture and address its root causes. It supports these efforts by funding projects worldwide.

Examples include engaging law enforcement personnel, stopping the supply of equipment used for torture and helping victims rebuild their lives. Survivors need psychological counselling, medical and legal assistance and help to get back to work.

Torture survivors suffer not only physical harm but also psychological damage that can prevent them from resuming normal lives. The EU provides support for torture rehabilitation in 41 countries worldwide, including support for torture rehabilitation centres and networks in 16 EU countries.

The EU is one of the biggest donors in the fight against torture, allocating almost €12m every year, "Torture is unacceptable" is the first campaign it has run on such a large scale. It culminated in events to mark the UN international day in support of victims of torture on 26 June.

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