The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment announces the new website of the Anti-Torture Initiative, available at www.antitorture.org.
The ATI is a project of the Special Rapporteur and the American University Washington College of Law Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law to expand the strategies used to support, monitor, and assess the implementation of my mandate’s thematic and country-specific recommendations, and to develop effective follow-up procedures to help eradicate torture around the world. As part of this project, the Anti-Torture Initiative’s website provides a dynamic platform for outreach and advocacy, and serves as a comprehensive resource and research tool for the work of my mandate and the Anti-Torture Initiative. It contains a searchable database of resources related to my mandate’s work, including all thematic, country visit, and observations reports, as well as news updates, press releases, interviews, conferences, hearings, op-eds, and other media coverage. Additionally, the Anti-Torture Initiative will be launching Facebook and Twitter accounts to create a broader network of advocates working in the field. The website and social media efforts are key components of a new coordinated outreach strategy which I am undertaking with the Anti-Torture Initiativeto truly globalize access and resources to the anti-torture work of my mandate. This website is intended to complement the dissemination of the work of the Rapporteurship that is done through the site of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Special Rapporteur also says that his upcoming thematic report to the 68th session of the General Assembly will focus on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners as they relate to various issues of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. The Standard Minimum Rules have become a vital standard in the context of criminal justice and human rights law. However, the Special Rapporteur says that many of these standards are out-dated and do not reflect the important developments in international human rights law in the past decades. The Vienna-based UN Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention is currently engaged in a process of reviewing the Standard Minimum Rules with broad and active participation by many States and committed civil society organizations. The report will be presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2013.