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Urgent actions

The IRCT has limited capacity to carry out urgent actions, and thus is only able to take action regarding direct threats to persons affiliated with IRCT member centres and programmes. However, there are other non-governmental organisations and international treaty bodies that have urgent procedures designed to assist persons who face an imminent risk of torture or ill-treatment, or of other serious violations of human rights.


NGO's undertaking emergency actions include:


  • The World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) has the capacity to conduct urgent appeals through its SOS-Torture Network. It sends urgent information to NGOs as well as intergovernmental and regional organisations liable to take action and intervene in a situation.
  • Amnesty International has an urgent action network which is aimed to assist persons at risk of torture or other serious violation of human rights. The purpose of the network is to rapidly produce an internationally coordinated mass protest, to stop or prevent serious human rights violations.
  • The Asian Human Rights Commission has an urgent appeals desk that undertakes actions on behalf of persons or groups whose human rights have been violated, and for whom some immediate intervention by people around the world may lead to a remedy or official reaction.


Other possibilities for urgent actions are:


  • The UN Committee against Torture may request the State Party concerned to take steps to avoid possible irreparable damage to the alleged victim of a violation. This provision offers protection to persons alleging a violation of the Convention even before the Committee takes a decision on the admissibility or the merits of the case.
  • The UN Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights may may through its system of interim protection ensure that urgent requests are dealt with promptly.
  • The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights may request that a state take measures to avoid serious and irreparable harm, if it receives a complaint that a serious violation of human rights is about to take place.
  • The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has the powers to adopt provisional measures if a victim's life, personal integrity or health is in imminent danger, thereby urging the State concerned not to take any action that will cause irreparable damage to the victim until the case has been heard by the Commission.



For human rights defenders


If you are a human rights defender in need of protection, please contact: 


The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (a joint programme OMCT-FIDH)

emergency lines:

Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29
Tel and fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80
E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

Federation Internationale des Droits de L'Homme (FIDH)
17, passage de la Main d’Or,
75011 Paris, France

Front Line the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Trust
81 Main Street
Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland

If you are a lawyer defending human rights, please contact:

Avocats sans Frontieres France
8, Rue du Prieuré
FR - 31000 Toulouse, France

If you are a journalist or reporter defending human rights, please contact:

Association Reporters sans Frontieres

CS 90247 - 75083
Paris Cedex 02
Tel. +33 (0) 1 44 83 84 80
Fax + 33 (0) 1 45 23 11 51

If you are a Trade Unionist defending human rights, please contact:

Stichting Schone Kleren Kampagne (in Dutch)
Frederik Hendrikstraat, 111,
NL- 1052 HN Amsterdam,
The Netherlands
Mailing address: Postbus 11584,
1001 GN Amsterdam, The Netherlands

If you are a human rights defender in Africa, please contact:

Dimension Sociale-Benin Association

BP 16 29
Abomey - Calavi (Bénin)
GSM +229 97 08 92 43

Diakonisches Werk der Evanlischen Kirche in Deutschland EV (in German)

Stafflenbergstrasse, 76
70184 Stuttgart, Germany

If you are a human rights defender in South-East Mediterranean region, please contact:

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders
Vestergade, 16 2nd Floor
1456 Copenhagen, Denmark 

If you are a human rights defender in the Caucasus region, please contact:

Human Rights Centre (HRIDC)
3a Kazbegi Ave., Entrance 2, 4th Floor, Apt. 22.
Tbilisi , 0160 Georgia
Tel: (+995 32) 37 69 50, (+995 32) 45 45 33;

If you are a human rights defender in Central Asia, please contact: 

The Institute for War and Peacereporting (IWPR) LBG
48 Gray Inn Road
WC1X 8LT London (UK)
Don Hinrichsen 

If you are a human rights defender in Asia, please contact: 

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Head Office
Rue de Varembé 1, 2nd Floor
1202 Geneva, Switzerland 

Regional office
Room 12-01 12th Flr., Times Square Building,
246 Sukhumvit Road, Between Soi 12-14,
Klongtoey, Klongtoey, 10110 Bangkok, Thailand

Tel: +66 (0)2 653 2940-1
Fax: +66 (0)2 653 2942

If you are a human rights defender in other regions in the world, please contact: 

Protection International AISBL
11, rue de la Linière
B-1060 Brussels
Christoph Klotz

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