FIACAT first saw the light of day in 1987 and has now completed its thirtieth year. What a lot of hope has been invested patiently over time in building and strengthening it and putting it on a permanent footing!

In quantitative terms, FIACAT brings together a consolidated network of about thirty national ACATs on four continents and there are new members in prospect. This expansion challenges FIACAT to assume more responsibility: specifically for playing an increasing role in campaigning for the abolition of torture, maltreatment and the death penalty and generally for promoting, defending and ensuring respect for human rights and dignity worldwide.

In qualitative terms, FIACAT is developing expertise which enjoys ever greater recognition. In 2017, its cooperation was indeed sought on several occasions by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United Nations. The regularity and quality of the reports produced by FIACAT together with its members enhance the visibility and credibility of FIACAT and its network.

However, we recognise that major challenges have to be met to satisfy the requirements of professionalism, credibility and legitimacy.
These include:

  • ensuring the democratic governance required to allow the ACATs’ approach to governance to be respected, restructured, modernised and adapted;
  • ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of financial, human and material resources;
  • strengthening volunteers’ capacities so that they are more committed and effective in their action;
  • professionnalisation for greater effectiveness and credibility;
  • mobilising resources in order to have efficient means of action available;
  • communication to make the network’s activities more visible;
  • rejuvenating the membership and renewing the leadership.

This year, we are therefore going to look back over the thirty years of FIACAT’s existence. There is an old saying: "He who knows not whence he cometh, knows not whither he goeth". The International Council at Abidjan from 11 to 13 April 2018 will be an opportunity to come together to celebrate our rich past in order to have a clear view of the present and set a course for the future.



President of FIACAT