ACAT-France – Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture – is a human rights NGO that campaigns for the abolition of torture and the death penalty, and defends the right to asylum.
Founded in 1974, ACAT-France has 28,000 members, including nearly 6,000 supporters and a team of 25 professionals working in its national secretariat. It is a member of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) reporting to the Prime Minister.
Acting for the abolition of torture and all forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, ACAT-France conducts advocacy and lobbies governments and international bodies. These actions have the following objectives: the protection of victims of human rights violations, inhuman and degrading treatment, torture, as well as of persons likely to be tortured, executed or imprisoned without trial; the condemnation of torturers; the establishment of national and international monitoring bodies. It is the first ACAT (founded in 1974) and a founding member of the International Federation of ACAT – FIACAT, created in 1987.
ACAT-France raises awareness, alerts and mobilizes public opinion. It intervenes in schools and universities to raise awareness and educate young people about human rights. To this end, it designs dedicated materials and tools, co-publishes and co-produces cultural works: books, films, documentaries, etc. It organizes conferences and debates throughout France. These actions aim to change mentalities, to create a favorable ground for the abolition of torture and executions.
The association defends the right to asylum, and for more than 20 years has been providing legal services to welcome and accompany asylum seekers and refugees in France. ACAT-France is a member of the French Coordination for the Right of Asylum (CFDA) and of the National Association for Border Assistance for Foreigners (ANAFE). It supports refugees and works for the evolution of legislation and practices concerning asylum in France and in Europe.
Every year, ACAT-France contributes to improve access to law and justice and to the liberation of hundreds of people who are victims of serious and sometimes fatal human rights violations.