Why an Atlas of Torture?
Despite their universal and absolute prohibition, torture and ill-treatment remain a global crisis affecting the majority of States worldwide.
The Atlas of Torture seeks to use the potential of technology to connect and empower human rights defenders, practitioners and individuals in the global fight against torture. It aims to:
- Raise awareness on the problem of torture and ill-treatment and how it can be prevented through documentation, learning and exchange.
- Ensure easy access to information on torture and ill-treatment.
- Make the work of actors engaged in the fight against torture and ill-treatment more visible and strengthen exchange and cooperation.
What is the Atlas of Torture?
The Atlas of Torture is a resource for States, civil society organizations, researches and human rights defenders and the public at large to access information, engage in learning and exchange and get involved in the fight against torture and ill-treatment.
The core element of the new Atlas of Torture is a user-friendly database on the situation of torture and ill-treatment and how it can be prevented. The database provides information on:
- The situation of torture and ill-treatment worldwide, country by country, in a 'world map of torture and ill-treatment', with relevant publications of international and national human rights organisations and researchers
- The international legal framework on the torture and ill-treatment, with a special focus on UN Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol, and practical guidance on how to combat torture and ill-treatment (e.g. guidelines on detention monitoring, investigation mechanism, legal reforms, etc.)
- Thematic issues and relevant groups (e.g. children, women, LGTBI in detention etc.)
The database is built on Uwazi, an open-source solution for organising, analysing and publishing documents designed by HURIDOCS. UWAZI was specifically developed to make information more easily accessible. It will allow users to search for documents via various filters obtaining targeted search results. Moreover, possibilities to visualise the information through maps and graphs will be explored to enhance the accessibility of the database.
In a next step - with the funding obtained through a crowdfunding campaign in June/July 2018 - we will further develop the Atlas of Torture with a Projects and Activities Map and Learning and Exchange platform. Within the framework of the Atlas of Torture, we want to explore ways to strengthen the fight against torture through internet-based technologies and innovative formats. We want to create a platform that gives more visibility to the actors fighting against torture and ill-treatment, raise awareness, foster exchange and empower organisations and individuals across the world.