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World Organisation against Torture

Created in 1986, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is today the main coalition of international non-governmental organisations fighting against torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances and all other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. With 297 affiliated organisations in its SOS-Torture Network, OMCT is the most important. In response to the increasing number of cases on gender-specific forms of violence, OMCT established in 1996 the Violence against Women (VAW) Programme, which addresses and analyses the gender-related causes and consequences of torture and other forms of violence against women. The OMCT VAW Programme issues urgent appeals concerning gender-based violence; submits alternative country reports on violence against women to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; and mainstreams a gender perspective into the work of the UN treaty monitoring bodies.

Together with FIDH, it runs The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, which operates, among others, a mechanism of systematic alert of the international community on cases of harassment and repression of human rights defenders, particularly when they require urgent intervention; the observation of judicial proceedings, and whenever necessary, direct legal assistance; international missions of investigation and solidarity; a concrete material assistance aiming at ensuring the security of defenders victims of serious violations of their rights; sustained action with the United Nations in particular with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, as well as sustained lobbying with various regional and international intergovernmental institutions.