Fighting trade in tools for torture and executions

13-02-2017

The EU is committed to fighting torture and use of the death penalty throughout the world. Both phenomena continue to afflict a significant number of countries, and trade in torture tools is booming. One of the most important measures taken by the EU has been its 2005 Regulation imposing restrictions in trade in torture tools. Despite some visible effects, it has been repeatedly criticised for loopholes which allow trade in goods that could be used for torture, executions and other ill-treatment, as well as related activities like brokering or advertising such goods to continue. Responding to a 2010 European Parliament resolution, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to amend the Regulation in 2014. The proposal was criticised by civil society organisations fighting torture since it did not address all potential loopholes. The EP's International Trade Committee proposed several amendments aiming to further restrict the trade in torture tools and the provision of related services. The final compromise text, agreed after three trilogue meetings, reflected most of INTA’s proposals, albeit with certain modifications. It was adopted by the EP and the Council as such, entering into force in December 2016. This updates a previous edition, of September 2016: PE 586.659.

The EU is committed to fighting torture and use of the death penalty throughout the world. Both phenomena continue to afflict a significant number of countries, and trade in torture tools is booming. One of the most important measures taken by the EU has been its 2005 Regulation imposing restrictions in trade in torture tools. Despite some visible effects, it has been repeatedly criticised for loopholes which allow trade in goods that could be used for torture, executions and other ill-treatment, as well as related activities like brokering or advertising such goods to continue. Responding to a 2010 European Parliament resolution, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to amend the Regulation in 2014. The proposal was criticised by civil society organisations fighting torture since it did not address all potential loopholes. The EP's International Trade Committee proposed several amendments aiming to further restrict the trade in torture tools and the provision of related services. The final compromise text, agreed after three trilogue meetings, reflected most of INTA’s proposals, albeit with certain modifications. It was adopted by the EP and the Council as such, entering into force in December 2016. This updates a previous edition, of September 2016: PE 586.659.