IRCT in Brussels
The IRCT Brussels office has 4 main activities:
- EU-policy follow-up
The IRCT actively analyses all policies of the European Union in the area of torture prevention and the rehabilitation of torture victims, including funding opportunities for civil society. It follows both internal (within Member States i.e. asylum and migration, fundamental rights) and external (towards third countries i.e. foreign policy, human rights, development) dimensions of EU policies by following the activities of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Council and the European External Action Service.
The IRCT intervenes regularly on all levels of EU policy making on torture related issues. The office provides information, sends in amendments to reports and legal texts, shares its opinion and meets with relevant decision makers, both representatives of EU member states, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and EU civil servants.
- Regional coordination
IRCT Brussels acts as regional coordinator for 50 centers located in 26 European countries (Council of Europe boundaries) and for their 7 European Council members (IRCT governance body). It supports the capacity building of the centres and facilitates cooperation and sharing of best practices.
- Support to IRCT members
The Brussels office actively supports IRCT member centers to advocate towards EU institutions and access information about EU funding on torture or related issues. This includes supporting members in writing funding proposals, attending EU conferences and meeting with relevant EU actors. It also encourages EU officials to visit IRCT members when visiting a country where the IRCT is present. Furthermore, the IRCT in Brussels consistently urges the EU to invite IRCT members to local civil society dialogues and consultations before human rights dialogues and other relevant meetings between the EU and non-EU countries take place.
Next to these activities, IRCT Brussels is actively engaged in networking activities with different networks such as the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the European Platform on Asylum and Migration (EPAM) and the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN). As one of the 3 member of the ‘troika’ of HRDN, IRCT Brussels coordinates the strategic advocacy actions towards the EU of 43 human rights organizations.