On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the European Union reiterates its strongest opposition to any kind of acts of torture worldwide. Torture is a crime that can target anyone through different forms and in different settings, and all victims of torture, including those who are unacknowledged, neglected or overlooked, are at the forefront of our policy.
The prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is absolute in international law. At times when this prohibition continues to be challenged all over the world, the European Union repeats its call for the UN Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol (OPCAT) to be universally ratified and effectively implemented by all States. The Bahamas' recent ratification of the Convention and South Africa's ratification of the OPCAT are positive examples.
Through its external action, the EU and its Member States also engage with third countries in regular political and human rights dialogues and financially support civil society organisations in fighting torture. In the last four years, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights supported anti-torture projects worldwide worth €23 million, and an additional amount of €8 million is foreseen for 2019.