Combating Enforced Disappearances Must Become an Important Part of the Implementation of the Expanded 2020 OSCE Commitment on Torture Prevention and Eradication

Civic Solidarity Platform’s (CSP) Working Group on Turkmenistan produced an overview on enforced disappearances in the OSCE region, which was included in a new CSP report, assessing compliance with the prohibition of torture in OSCE countries

 On February 1, 2022, the CSP’s Working Group on Fighting Torture released a new report, “Current Assessment of Compliance with the Prohibition of Torture in OSCE Countries.” This report is civil society’s contribution to the OSCE participating States’ implementation of their OSCE commitment on torture prevention and eradication.

 In December 2020, the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted Decision No. 7/20 “Prevention and eradication of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” This Ministerial Decision lays down expanded commitments to ensure practical implementation of the prohibition of torture. The CSP report presents an assessment of countries’ compliance with these new commitments.

Natalia Taubina, Director of Public Verdict Foundation (Russia) and coordinator of the CSP’s Working Group on Fighting Torture, commented on the release of the report: “This important decision of the Ministerial Council was adopted by consensus. We had been advocating for its adoption for six years. Now it is necessary that this Decision becomes an effective tool for combating torture and ill-treatment in the OSCE region. This requires clear action plans to implement the commitments spelled out in the Decision. In order for the plans to be realistic and relevant, it is important to understand to what extent the current situation in the OSCE countries corresponds to the commitments of the Decision, where there are weaknesses, and where there are success stories that can be taken into account and developed. This is exactly the goal we set for ourselves when preparing this report.”

Among other elements, such as a comprehensive approach to the support and rehabilitation of torture survivors, MC Decision No. 7/20 refers for the first time to enforced disappearances and prolonged incommunicado detention or detention in secret places as factors that can facilitate the perpetration of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and can in and of themselves constitute a form of such treatment. Chapter five of the new CSP report provides a detailed description of the situation with enforced disappearances in the OSCE region, with concrete recommendations for actions. The chapter was produced by the CSP’s Working Group on Turkmenistan, under whose auspices the Prove They Are Alive! campaign works.

The document is available in PDF format in English and Russian.

Read the full text of the report in English or Russian on the CSP website.