OSCE Ministerial Council adopts a landmark decision on Prevention and Eradication of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Albania’s Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Edi Rama, closes the 2020 OSCE Ministerial Council, Tirana, 4 December 2020.

On 4 December 2020, the OSCE 2020 Ministerial Council in Tirana adopted a Decision on Prevention and Eradication of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This is upgraded and expanded OSCE commitment on the prevention of torture which was adopted by consensus by all participating States. 

For the first time ever, combating enforced disappearances has become a part of the OSCE commitment to torture prevention, which is in line with CSP recommendations and international law requirements. The Decision says that prolonged incommunicado detention can facilitate torture and can itself constitute torture. In practice, this means that all elements of the new expanded OSCE commitment to combat and prevent torture apply also to fighting enforced disappearances. It is also unprecedented that a strong reflection on torture victims and their needs for rehabilitation, restitution, compensation, and reparation are included in the OSCE commitments.

The CSP welcomes the decision and expresses readiness to continue pushing for its implementation as well as advocating for the adoption of those remaining recommendations that were not included in the decision.


Photo credit: OSCE / Albanian MFA, ID: 472746