The Civic Solidarity Platform's Working Group on the Fight against Torture has developed an Index on Torture
The Civic Solidarity Platform's Working Group on the Fight against Torture has developed an Index on Torture, which is calculated separately for each country. A country's summary index is based on a series of measurements reflecting the State's performance in areas such as torture response mechanism, judicial review of torture claims, anti-torture provisions in domestic law, procedural guarantees against the use of torture, national preventive mechanisms (NPM), and the State's ratification of international obligations concerning prohibition of torture.
Working Group members from the following eight countries have contributed to the Index preparation:
Promo-LEX Association, Moldova
Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on law enforcement
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor, Armenia
Voice of Freedom, Kyrgyzstan
Committee against Torture, Russia
Human Rights Movement Bir Duino, Kyrgyzstan
Viasna Human Rights Centre, Belarus
Nota Bene Foundation, Tajikistan
Kadir Kassiyet, Kazakhstan
Public Verdict Foundation, Russia
Helsinki Committee of Armenia
Experts from the Public Verdict Foundation and the Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on law enforcement have been involved in developing the Index.
The main challenge faced by human rights defenders in compiling the Index has been a lack of comprehensive, clear and regularly updated information on these issues in the public domain in some countries. Therefore, certain parameters of the Index for four countries have not been included in their aggregate Index. More specifically:
- There is a lack of clear and coherent statistics on the number of torture complaints, criminal investigations opened, and torture cases brought to court in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine;
- It is impossible to assess with any degree of certainty the workload on investigators in Armenia;
- Official regulations governing video surveillance in places of detention and video recording of violence are not publicly accessible in Moldova.
If publicly available, this data could add to these countries' Index, making it higher.
What we are presenting today is a pilot Index. Its structure and composition will be further updated. The Working Group on the Fight against Torture plans to measure the Index on Torture annually and publish the results on June 26 to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. We also look forward to expanding the geography of our measurements and invite our colleagues from other countries in the OSCE region to join our efforts.