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U.S. Policy & Torture Abroad


Torture is widely practiced by governments across the globe despite prohibitions found in international and national laws. The United States government can use its resources to encourage other countries to reject the use of torture.

NRCAT will:  

1. Urge President Obama to sign the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT). This treaty would help protect all prisoners in U.S. custody from torture by setting up mechanisms to ensure that U.S. laws prohibiting torture are followed in all detention facilities, including prisons, mental hospitals, jails, and other places of confinement.

Strategies include:
* Producing and promoting an educational video on OPCAT;
* Asking national senior religious leaders, individual people of faith, and religious organizations to endorse a statement calling upon the President to sign the treaty;
* Meeting with the State Department about the treaty.

Learn more about the Preventing Torture Everywhere campaign

2. Advocate for the State Department to prepare a "Torture Watchlist" of countries engaged in torture and to make U.S. assistance available for efforts to end the use of torture.

3. Advocate for legislation that provides incentives to foreign governments that are making significant efforts to end torture in their countries. One way to do this is to add provisions to the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that offer positive incentives, including monetary assistance for initiatives by foreign governments to end torture (such as training local police forces to use humane interrogation techniques).

On December 10, 2009, the Board of Directors of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture voted to continue its efforts to end U.S.-sponsored torture forever and to expand into two new areas of work: ending torture in U.S. prisons and advocating for U.S. policies and practices that help end torture by other governments.

Learn more about the need for advocating for U.S. policies and practices that help end torture by other governments (PDF)

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