18th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum
18th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum

Welcome to the website dedicated to the 18th EU – NGO Forum on Human Rights.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission are delighted to invite you to the 18th EU-NGO Forum on Human Rights. The EU-NGO Forum on Human Rights is an annual conference that provides a venue for direct interaction and in depth discussion between representatives of global civil society and the EU institutions, EU Member States and international organizations on various topics related to the promotion and protection of human rights. The Forum is jointly organised by the European External Action Service and the European Commission in conjunction with the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN).

The Forum shall bring together representatives from Civil society organisations (CSOs) active in the fields of democracy and human rights from within and outside the EU/Europe and representatives from the Member States, the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the EEAS, the United Nations, academia and think tanks. The occasion will also serve as a platform for an interactive exchange and genuine debate.

The theme of this year's Forum will be “United against all forms of Torture - appling a cross-cutting perspective to prevent, prohibit, and redress torture globally”, and more specifically:

  • Analysis of the challenges in the eradication of torture and ill treatment;
  • Assess the impact of existing international responses in policy and practice;
  • Identify best practices to propagate and ways to improve the effectiveness of existing policy and practice;
  • Foster connections, exchange and partnerships.

The forum will address torture and ill treatment from a cross-cutting perspective, exploring how these issues are inexorably linked to practically all other major human rights challenges e.g. freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly or rights of vulnerable groups such as LGBTI people, human rights defenders or migrants. This year it is ten years since the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture entered into force. It is also the 50th anniversary of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The forum will address the importance of fighting torture for the accomplishment of these two important Covenants.

In this spirit, the three main, cross-cutting areas of focus for discussion will include:

  • Most vulnerable groups.
  • Accountability and the fight against impunity
  • Addressing torture and ill treatment explicitly in today’s foreign and domestic security policy agenda.

Plenary sessions will address broad questions, such as the current state of torture and ill-treatment and the international and regional strategies being deployed to preventing, fight and redressing them, summing up conclusions and action-oriented suggestions on the way forward and ideas for possible follow up actions.

On this website, you will find the latest information on the 18th EU-NGO Forum on Human Rights, as well as the key documents, speeches and photos from the Forum, which will be posted after the event.