Home Torture Abroad Preventing Torture Everywhere - Statement on OPCAT

Preventing Torture Everywhere

During Human Rights Day (December 10), your congregation can:
1. Use worship materials prepared for different faith groups and a bulletin insert.

2. Collect signatures on the petition asking the President to sign OPCAT.
2. Show the video Preventing Torture Everywhere featuring tetimony from torture survivors now living in the U.S.

How can a country make sure that torture and abuse does not go on in its places of confinement?

Torture happens throughout the world and most countries want it to stop. It is illegal, but that doesn’t prevent it from occurring.

The United States, which has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), can learn from the experiences of the 63 nations that have ratified it, including Great Britain, Sweden and Tunisia.  OPCAT, which has been effective, sets up oversight bodies and other national mechanisms that prevent torture and abuse in places of confinement including: jails, prisons, mental health facilities, immigration detention centers, detainee centers like Guantanamo, and police stations.

The United States has the same challenge. A Chicago Police Commander tortured people for decades; torture and abuse occurs in solitary confinement in the Pelican Bay supermax prison in California and similar prisons in other states; and rape, sexual and other abuse occur in U.S. immigration detention centers which hold 40,000 people every day.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture invites you to mark Human Rights Day by lifting up the need to shine a light on places where torture might occur in the U.S.  Your congregation can use worship materials, show a video, or gather signatures for the petition asking the President to sign the OPCAT.  You can go to www.nrcat.org/human_rights_day for resources for this special weekend.

During Human Rights Day (December 10), your congregation can:

In order to assist your outreach, we have prepared materials including a FAQ sheet to answer questions that might arise when circulating the statement and a bulletin insert that can be placed in your congregation’s bulletin or used as a flyer.


OPCAT Background Information

We will be working on this task for the long term. But even a long term task needs a beginning. Now is the time to start. If NRCAT staff can be helpful to you as you do this important work, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Bookmark and Share
Non-Profit Soapbox