The European Union (EU) is not only a major donor but also a key policy maker in the area of human rights around the world. Its founding treaty commits it to actively engage in the promotion of the respect for human rights outside of its borders. The EU undertakes this task both through the provision of financial support for human rights actions and projects as well as through political dialogue with third countries. It is therefore able to use its political powers to promote particular issues and influence third country governments into changing their policies. The fight against torture, ill-treatment and other cruel or inhuman treatment is a crucial cornerstone of the EU’s human rights policy abroad. 

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