Resolution Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment - Participate and Advocate
Skip to content
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
LinkedIn
Google+
Instagram
YouTube
Search
Login Publications About AAA Contact Join Donate Shop FAQs
Note with flowers Mobile
Note with flowers Desktop

In This Section

Resolution Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment

From Our Sponsors

In This Section

January 25, 2017

Resolution Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Committee for Human Rights of the American Anthropological Association

WHEREAS the existence of state‐sponsored torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment has been documented in many nations around the world, including here in the United States of America;

WHEREAS it is estimated that some 1.4 million survivors of torture living in the USA suffer from long‐term, multiple psychological and physical problems;

WHEREAS the president-elect, Donald Trump, has openly advocated for the reintroduction of torture, such as “waterboarding” and other techniques that “are so much worse” and “much stronger” as weapons against the nation’s enemies;

WHEREAS, consistent with its history in supporting human rights, in its 1947 and 1999 Human Rights Resolutions, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) issued a strong statement that “as a professional organization of anthropologists, the AAA has long been, and should continue to be, concerned whenever human difference is made the basis for a denial of basic human rights;”

WHEREAS the AAA’s approach on anthropological principles builds on the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights; Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; the Conventions on Torture, Genocide; Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; and other treaties which bring basic human rights within the parameters of international written and customary law and practice;

WHEREAS the 2012 Ethical Statement of the AAA calls upon all members to respect the inherent dignity and worth of the individual and strive for the preservation and protection of fundamental human rights recognizing the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family;

WHEREAS AAA’s status as an accredited NGO at the United Nations carries the commitment to promote and protect human rights in accordance with the Charter of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to contribute its expertise and resources to the implementation of the various human rights declarations, conventions and other UN standards;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA reaffirms its support for the United Nations Declaration and Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its adoption of Article 2.2, which states,

[T]here are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether induced by a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, that may be invoked as a justification of torture;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA defines the term "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" in accordance with the UN Convention Against Torture,  and incorporates within its definition of “torture” and “cruel and inhuman punishment,” the terms “waterboarding” and all other “enhanced interrogation techniques,” being those practices described in the so-called “Torture Memos”;

BE IT RESOLVED that based upon the AAA's long‐standing commitment to basic human rights including its position against torture, no anthropologist shall knowingly engage in, tolerate, direct, support, advise, or offer training or research/knowledge that facilitates the practice of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment;

BE IT RESOLVED that should torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment evolve during a procedure where an anthropologist is present, the anthropologist shall attempt to intervene to stop such behavior, and failing that, exit the procedure and have an ethical responsibility to report these acts to the appropriate authorities;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA applauds the passage of the McCain-Feinstein amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The legislation took a historic step in strengthening the US ban on torture by limiting US Government interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual, requiring the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) be provided timely notification of and access to detainees when they are taken into US custody, and mandating review of the Army Field Manuel to ensure its approaches continue to be lawful, humane, and effective;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA condemns in particular any action or attempt by state or public officials to legalize, authorize or acquiesce in torture under any circumstances, including on grounds of national security or through judicial decisions; 

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA calls on the incoming US administration to implement effective measures to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, particularly in places of detention and other places where persons are deprived of their liberty, including education and training for personnel, who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA calls on the incoming US administration not to expel, return (“refouler”), extradite or in any other way transfer a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture; CfHR recognizes in this respect that diplomatic assurances, where used, do not release States from their obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law, in particular the principle of non-refoulement;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA calls on the incoming US administration to ensure that victims of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment obtain redress and are awarded fair and adequate compensation and receive appropriate socio-medical rehabilitation, and in this regard encourages the development of rehabilitation centers for victims of torture;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA calls on the incoming US administration to ensure that all acts of torture are offenses under domestic criminal law, and emphasizes that acts of torture are serious violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law and can constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes and that the perpetrators are liable to prosecution and punishment;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA calls on the incoming US administration not to punish government or military personnel for not obeying orders to commit acts amounting to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA calls on the incoming US administration to protect anthropologists and medical and other personnel in their role documenting torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and in treating victims of such acts; and,

BE IT RESOLVED that the AAA condemns all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and calls upon the current and incoming US administrations to implement fully the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.



You Might Also Like