Review of EU Anti-Torture Regulation and its implementation

Findings and recommendations from Omega's review of the EU Anti-Torture Regulation

European Council (EC) Regulation No. 1236/2005 Concerning trade in goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (the Regulation) was agreed in July 2005 and came into force on 30 July 2006. The world’s first multilateral instrument in this area, it is legally binding, and is directly applicable in all EU Member States. The Regulation filled a major gap in human-rights-based trade controls, and serves as an inspiration for other national, regional, and international processes. It introduced unprecedented, binding trade controls on a range of equipment that is frequently used in serious human rights violations, but that is often absent from State military, dual-use, or strategic export control lists. The Regulation has been revised and strengthened over time; the latest consolidated version, Regulation (EU) 2019/125, was published in January 2019 and came into force on 20 February 2019.

This Omega Research Foundation report comprises an independent evaluation of the Regulation and its implementation by Member States, together with analysis of company activities of concern. This report is intended to facilitate and inform the appraisal by the European Parliament and European Council and their subsequent discussions regarding the most appropriate and effective measures to strengthen the Regulation and its implementation by all EU Member States.The Omega Research Foundation has examined the Regulation, its implementation by all EU Member States, and the activities of companies based or operating in the EU during the 2015-2019 period. From this, Omega has found that aspects of the Regulation remain only partially, or inefficiently, implemented, and that certain goods and activities of concern are not adequately covered by this instrument.