Despite their universal and absolute prohibition, torture and other forms of ill-treatment remain a “global crisis” affecting the majority of States worldwide. At the same time, there is a lack of awareness about the problem. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture stated that we live in a time of “collective amnesia” where official narratives and public beliefs trivialise and even endorse torture in the name of security and the fight against terrorism, forgetting the suffering and damages it causes.
Numerous international and domestic actors are engaged in the fight against torture and ill-treatment through monitoring, research, advocacy, technical assistance, etc. However, there is insufficient access to information on the problem. Good practices and guidelines on prevention are not only inadequately documented, but also receive limited exposure. What is more, information about prevention work remain dispersed across several different sources and inadequately documented.
Moreover, the lack of coordination among the different actors lead to frequent duplications and missing synergies. The potential of internet-based technologies to strengthen the exchange and cooperation as well as providing effective support and learning opportunities needs to be explored further.
For these reasons, the Atlas of Torture website aims to empower organisations and individuals and strengthening the global fight against torture and ill-treatment. It will do so by:
- Raising awareness on the problem by highlighting how torture and ill-treatment can be prevented through documentation, learning and exchange
- Ensuring easy access to information
- Making the work of actors engaged in the fight against torture and ill-treatment more visible
- Strengthening exchange and cooperation
Ultimately, the website will thus provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for researchers and practitioners to easily and freely access up-to-date information and strategies for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment.