New EU human rights framework a “missed chance” – IRCT27-06-2012
The IRCT has branded the new EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy a missed chance for omitting reference to the rehabilitation of victims of torture and the absolute prohibition of torture in the fight against terrorism. The IRCT also notes a lack of coherence between this new package and the recently revised EU guidelines on the fight against torture in third countries.
The framework and action plan was adopted by EU Foreign Ministers on Monday 25th June - while the framework is a political document outlining the broad policy priorities of the EU’s external human rights policy, the action plan identifies specific actions to be taken to ensure its implementation.
The Ministers also agreed to appoint a Special Representative on Human Rights, with a name to be announced in the coming weeks.
Despite some reservations, as noted above, the IRCT welcomes this effort by the EU to address the issue of human rights in a comprehensive and coherent way, cutting across institutions, themes and programmes in the hope of achieving greater efficiency. The IRCT also welcomes the inclusive approach taken and the opportunity that was given to civil society organisations to participate in this process in an active way. We see great opportunities, and challenges too, in implementing this action plan.
The IRCT, as member of the coordinating “troika” of the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN), was actively involved at all stages of the negotiations preceding the new package and is fully committed to carefully monitor its implementation in the coming years both at European and national level, in cooperation with its members.
For more information
- EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (PDF file)
- Guidelines to EU Policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - An up-date of the Guidelines (PDF file)