Source description last updated: 21 May 2014
In brief: The World Organisation Against Torture (Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture, OMCT) is a network of NGOs working for the protection of human rights and fighting against torture and impunity. OMCT provides assistance to torture victims, operates as an advocate for persons affected by torture, and documents human rights violations in all countries.
Coverage on
Urgent appeals/Interventions, Reports, Press Releases/Statements.
Covered twice a week on, for countries of priorities A-D (all available countries).
“Created in 1985, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is today the main coalition of international non-governmental organisations (NGO) fighting against torture [...]. With 311 affiliated organisations in its SOS-Torture Network and many tens of thousands correspondents in every country, OMCT is the most important network of non-governmental organisations working for the protection and the promotion of human rights in the world. Based in Geneva, OMCT’s International Secretariat provides personalised medical, legal and/or social assistance to hundreds of torture victims and ensures the daily dissemination of urgent appeals across the world, in order to protect individuals and to fight against impunity.” (OMCT: About, undated)
OMCT’s main objective is to link organisations that work in countries affected by violence and „to coordinate and support their operations in order to maximise the effectiveness of their action on the ground. The SOS-Torture Network is thus at the heart of OMCT’s work.“ (OMCT: Network, undated)
“OMCT enjoys a consultative status with the following institutions: ECOSOC (United Nations), the International Labour Organization, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and the Council of Europe.” (OMCT: About, undated)
Sources of OMCT’s funding include NGOs and private foundations, Governments (for instance, Germany, Norway, Switzerland), Swiss cantons and communes, UN funds, the European Commission, and membership fees of members of the SOS-Torture Network. For more information on donors and accounts, see OMCT’s annual report:
OMCT: 2012 Annual Report – Nothing can justify torture under any circumstances, September 2013
Scope of reporting:
Geographical focus: All countries.
Thematic Focus: Human rights violations, focusing on „torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances and all other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment“ (OMCT: About, undated ). „Historically, OMCT’s activities were centred on the Urgent Campaigns and the Urgent Assistance to Victims of Torture“  (OMCT: History, undated). With time, however, OMCT decided to give emphasis to thematic activities focusing on children's rights, human rights defenders, violence against women and „socio-economic issues in the fight against torture.“ (OMCT: History, undated)
„The structure of the SOS-Torture network has allowed OMCT to reinforce local activity while favouring the access of national NGOs to international institutions. The member organisations not only exchange information concerning particular situations and cases but also their experience gained while working in the field, their methods of intervention and their own reflections concerning the political, legal, social and economic reforms that are necessary in order to ensure greater respect for human rights.“ (OMCT: History, undated)
OMCT „engages in a range of activities aimed at eradicating torture and other human rights violations that fall within its mandate by means of prevention, denunciation, awareness raising, training, advocacy, proceedings against perpetrators, and assistance to and rehabilitation of victims.“ (OMCT: Activities, undated)
Language(s) of publications:
Reports are mostly published in English or French, occasionally in Spanish.
Further reading / links:
OMCT: 2012 Annual Report – Nothing can justify torture under any circumstances, September 2013
OMCT: The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, undated
All documents available on from this source:
All links accessed 21 May 2014.
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