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Interactive Dialogue – Item 3 General Debate on Torture
March 8, 2021

Item 3 General Debate on Torture
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America 

UN Human Rights Council – 46th Session
Geneva, March 8, 2021 

As Delivered by Charles Trumbull

The United States played a leading role in establishing the Convention against Torture. We are unwavering advocates for victims of torture and continue to be the largest donor to the UN Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture, while conducting awareness campaigns for security and law enforcement officers around the world to help eliminate this abhorrent practice.

Yet the use of torture persists in many countries. We decry human rights violations throughout China, including in Xinjiang, where there are credible reports of torture and mass arbitrary detention of Uyghur Muslims and others. In Belarus, more than 250 political prisoners are being held by authorities and security forces have reportedly committed wide-scale torture and other cruel treatment of detainees. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria has repeatedly confirmed reporting that the Assad regime has committed wide-scale atrocities over the last decade, including ongoing arbitrary detention and torture of dissidents, journalists, members of minority groups, and human rights activists. Some of these actions have amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Question: What steps can the international community take to better help victims of torture recover and hold perpetrators accountable?