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International criminal law, though not quite as comprehensively codified or as widely ratified by States as international human rights obligations, is relevant to the study and protection of international human rights because it, generally, is aimed at punishing acts which affect fundamental human rights, namely: life, liberty, and security. This factsheet provides definitions and resources for further research.

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In light of the moral imperative inherent in the absolute prohibition of torture, politicians and their lawyers have repeatedly attempted to limit the definition of torture so as to exclude certain interrogation techniques from its scope. The inclusion of a comprehensive legal definition of torture in article 1 of the UN Convention Against Torture is therefore of great significance.

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States Parties to the UN Convention against Torture are not only under an obligation to prevent torture and ill-treatment and to bring perpetrators of torture to justice, but also to assist victims of torture and to grant them adequate reparation, including compensation and rehabilitation.

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The Atlas of Torture website is a project of the Human Dignity and Public Security team at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) in Vienna, Austria. It intends to provide an objective overview of the situation of torture and ill-treatment around the world.

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