29 Apr 2021
IRCT Appointed to EU Expert Group

The IRCT has been appointed to the European Union’s (EU) Expert Group for the Implementation of the EU Anti-Torture Regulation, which aims to ban the trade of goods that are used for torture or the death penalty. 

IRCT Appointed to EU Expert Group

Torture is a continuing and pervasive global pandemic whose ‘vaccine’ is unfortunately rolling out far too slowly. Everyday, in the majority of countries around the world, torture continues to be practiced in prisons, police stations, army barracks, on the streets, in hospitals, in schools and in secret facilities to name but a few locations. Among a seemingly endless cavalcade of torture methods reported around the world are beatings, electric shocks, burns, cuts, simulated drowning, mutilation and mock executions.

Many of these methods are carried out with equipment that is used exclusively for the purpose of causing intense pain and suffering on its victims. These are tools that are manufactured and sold by companies who make large profits on the suffering of its victims.

These tools leave a devastating impact on their victims, often resulting in permanent scarring, physical impairment and psychological pain, leaving victims with long-lasting trauma. This impacts their abilities to survive and therefore has knock-on effects on their families and sometimes entire communities.

In response to the continued trade of these tools, the EU began to clamp down on European companies selling them around the world. By introducing the ‘Anti-Torture Regulation’ in 2019, the EU sought to prevent the trade in specific equipment that could be used for torture or the death penalty. The EU has now appointed a group of experts to strengthen compliance with the Anti-Torture Regulation as well as to provide it with technical expertise.

“Our appointment to this expert group is a recognition of our role in bringing health-based expertise to documenting and preventing torture worldwide,” said Lisa Henry, Secretary-General of the IRCT. “Our members see the detrimental effects of these tools and practices on survivors on a daily basis. It’s imperative that companies immediately stop producing and selling these barbaric and cruel instruments.”

Over the past four decades, IRCT has consistently worked on effectively documenting the devastating impact of torture methods and tools. In 2020, the IRCT’s Director of Advocacy, Asger Kjaerum, was also appointed to be a UN expert on establishing a treaty, which would ban the sale of goods used for torture.

For more information

The IRCT is the world’s largest membership-based organisation working in the field of torture rehabilitation, prevention and justice. Our global membership supports over 50,000 torture survivors rebuild their lives every year. Through this process, we gain unrivalled expertise in the health-based rehabilitation of survivors as well as how to document torture. We use this health-based expertise to provide context to all the pillars in the global fight against torture: prevention, accountability and redress.

“Our appointment to this expert group is a recognition of our role in bringing health-based expertise to documenting and preventing torture worldwide,”

-Lisa Henry, Secretary-General of the IRCT


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