Why and how the Atlas of Torture provides which information

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The team experts and institutions behind the Atlas of Torture

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About our funders and our Crowdfunding campaign

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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.


Who is behind the Atlas of Torture?

The Atlas of Torture is a joint project of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights and HURIDOCS. The project is supported by the LBG ‘Open Innovation in
Science Center’. The team of experts behind the Atlas of Torture based at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) in Vienna.

The Department was established in 2004 to support Manfred Nowak’s mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2004-2010), investigating the situation of torture and ill-treatment worldwide. Observing the lack of follow-up and implementation of recommendations for the prevention of torture, the team has since then carried out extensive research on the effectiveness of torture prevention measures, focusing particularly on the following questions:

  • What measures and mechanisms are effective in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment and the protection of detainees’ rights?
  • How can existing legal and institutional frameworks be strengthened to more effectively prevent torture and protect human rights, especially the rights of detainees?
  • How can monitoring and oversight mechanisms ensure the implementation of national and international human rights obligations?

The BIM is the largest independent human rights research institute in Austria. The Department ‘Human Dignity and Public Security’ at the BIM is specialised in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment and the protection of human rights in the criminal justice system.

Based in Geneva, HURIDOCS is a nonprofit organisation that has worked at the intersection of technology and human rights for over 35 years. HURIDOCS is a globally distributed team of information scientists, documentation experts, information security specialists and software designers out to empower defenders to act strategically on human rights information. HURIDOCS supports the Atlas of Torture in using information and technology most efficiently to fight torture and ill-treatment.

The LBG ‘Open Innovation in Science Center’ is systematically bringing open innovation methods into research. It is unique in the European research landscape, with the decisive goal to enter into a dialogue with citizens, redesigning conventional research processes with the goal to generate greater social impact through research. The LBG ‘Open Innovation in Science Center’ is supporting the Atlas of Torture.


Who makes the Atlas of Torture possible?

The website has been co-funded by the Austrian Research Fund - FWF (Österreichischer Wissenschaftsfonds).

The website is also made possible thanks to all the supporters who donated in the framework of a crowdfunding campaign in June/July 2018! The funding raised through the crowdfunding will be used for the programming and set-up of the
‘Projects & Activities Map’ and the ‘Learning & Exchange Platform’.

Join our community!

The aim of the website is to generate a community of users and contributors to make the Atlas of Torture project sustainable in
the long-run. We encourage everyone who is interested in the fight against torture to get in touch!

Close cooperation with you and other anti-torture organisations is key for setting up an Atlas of Torture’s website that is sustainable in the long-run.

We would like to thank our funders of the crowdfunding campaign for their support.

  • Adrian Gasser
  • Alexander Forster
  • Ana Redi-Milatović
  • Andrea Grman
  • Andrea Kraxner
  • Andrea Mayr
  • Andrea Respondek
  • Anna Birk
  • Aşkın-H. Doğan
  • Barbara Fürst
  • Barbara Höller
  • Barbara Linder
  • Barbara Stelzl-Marx
  • Beate Tiran
  • Beate Winkler
  • Benjamin Missbach
  • Benjamin Schopp
  • Bettina Steiner-Birmanns
  • Brigitte Morard
  • Camille Laugier
  • Carmi Lecker
  • Christa Missbach
  • Christian Cap
  • Christoph Heininger
  • Claude Granier
  • Claude Moret
  • Claudia Lell
  • Claus Lamm
  • Cloed Baumgartner
  • Deva Zwitter
  • Dirk Hoffmann
  • Donatello Osti
  • Emmanuelle van Wely
  • Fabian Schreiber
  • Falk Reckling
  • Ferydun Amati
  • Fiona Steinert
  • Florian Ederer
  • Franz Cermak
  • Franz Heimel
  • Franziska Richter
  • Friedhelm Weinberg
  • Gabriele Voth
  • Gabriele Zach
  • Georg Gruber
  • Georg Huber-Grabenwarter
  • Georg Tuder
  • Gerhard Schaumberger
  • Graziella Pavone
  • Guillotine Verein für Kunst, Kultur,
    Technologie, Politik und Gesellschaft
  • Hannes Vyoral
  • Harald Hochreiter
  • Herwig Tretter
  • Iris Potocnik
  • Jacques Zingg
  • Jan Harder
  • Joachim Stern
  • Julia Kolda
  • Julia Kost
  • Karin König
  • Karl Hermann
  • Kate Thompson
  • Katharina Nagl
  • Klaus Putzer
  • Konstantin Bercht
  • Kristina Hametner
  • Lena Robinson
  • lenneke Heeffer
  • Liselotte Abid
  • Manfred Ecker
  • Margot Glatz
  • Marie Gailland
  • Marija Tomic
  • Marion Bolten
  • Markus Gross
  • Martin Kreutner
  • Matthias Birk
  • Maurizio Monina
  • Michael Keller
  • Michelle Proyer
  • Mourad Mahidi
  • Myriam & Pierre Crittin
  • Nico Mittenzwey
  • Nicolas Kern
  • Niki Fink
  • Patricia Hladschik
  • Patrizia Simone
  • Österreichischer Bundesverband
    für Psychotherapie
  • Philipp Hamedl
  • Rafael Schögler
  • Ranit Mishori
  • Reiner Glanz
  • Robert Jolly
  • Roger Kaminker
  • Rozelien Van Erdeghem
  • Silvia Randazzo
  • Simone Wandt
  • Stefan Wieser
  • Stephanie Selg
  • Susanne Brunner
  • Susanne Fraczek
  • Swen Dornig
  • Sylvia Hartl
  • Thomas Bernhardt
  • Thomas Töben
  • Tina Hofstätter
  • Tiphanie Crittin
  • Tobias Fröhlich
  • Valentina Alberti
  • Verena Krausneker
  • Walter Dusik
  • Werner Purgathofer
  • Werner Wertitsch
a project by:
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute HURIDOCS
co-funded by: