Rules and Principles for participation in the NGO Coalition against Torture in Tajikistan

1. The NGO Coalition against Torture in Tajikistan (“Coalition”) is an independent self-governing open structure. 

2. The coalition is not a legal entity. This is a free Alliance of non-profit organizations of the Republic of Tajikistan (“Members of the Coalition”) and their supporters united to prevent and combat torture in Tajikistan. 

3. The main task of the Coalition is to express a coordinated position regarding the use of torture or allegations of torture, adoption of a new or already existing law and/or practice, public and administrative programs, decisions or actions, and other situations that are relevant to the issue of torture; coordinated response to reports of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Tajikistan and abroad.

4. The Coalition and its members act solely in the best interests of victims of torture and/or their families. Nothing in the activities of the Coalition or its members can not contradict or harm the interests of the victims of torture and/or their families.

5. While receiving the reports of torture allegations, that suggest that torture or other forms of ill-treatment has taken place, it is presumed the guilt or responsibility of the state, until the contrary is proved.

6. In its activities the Coalition first of all is guided by the approved international standards, principles and concepts, as well as the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Tajikistan.

7. The Coalition strongly and steadily fighting the state ignorance and condone of torture in Tajikistan, offering states effective and modern methods of prevention and fight against torture.

8. Understanding the importance of establishing common rules of behavior and activities for all members of the Coalition to ensure the effectiveness of their consolidated efforts, the Coalition members voluntarily commit themselves to compliance and enforcement of the principles listed below:

a. Voluntariness and freedom to participate in the Coalition.

b. Voluntary and freedom to join the coalition's decision.

c. Mutual interests and acceptance of the rules and principles of participation in the Coalition.

d. Openness and transparency of the Coalition members’ activities in the implementation of its tasks.

e. Equality and mutual respect among the members of the Coalition.

f. Bound by ethics and correct behavior, the presumption of good faith among the Coalition members.

g. Inadmissibility of any action the Coalition members to detriment the common goals and objectives.

h. Adoption of consolidated decisions on the basis of mutual interests of Coalition members.

i. Recognition of the right to apply against the unscrupulous members public methods of influence up to exclusion from the coalition and public censure by the decision of a simple majority of the Coalition members.

9. The work of the Coalition is coordinated by one of the Coalition's organization-members, in the absence of objections, and with the support of the rest of the participating organizations to carry out organizational and coordination functions and to ensure the work of the Coalition. In order to implement the organizational and coordination functions, coordinating organization designate a staff coordinator (manager) of the Coalition, performs organizational, logistical, information and technical activities.

10. The governing body of the Coalition is the Board of the Coalition, which is entitled the power of decision-making on strategic issues of the Coalition, including:

a) Admission of new members;

b) Establishment of working and thematic working groups within the Coalition;

a) Direction of appeals, applications, urgent actions, requests on behalf of the Coalition.

11. The Council consists of the heads of the Coalition member-organizations, or a person authorized by them. Head of the organization, admitted to membership of the Coalition is automatically included in the Council of the Coalition.

12. Organization wishing to join the coalition, or to leave the coalition, informs about its intention in a written statement to the coordinating organization, and the latter shall notify the Council of the Coalition, thus enrolling applicant in the Coalition, or excluding it. The decision is taken by a simple majority vote.

13. Statements and appeals on behalf of the Coalition are only possible under the condition that it was voted by two thirds of the Coalition organizations-members. In the absence of a quorum, application or appeal may be sent (published) with indicating the names of the Coalition member-organizations that supported this claim or appeal.

14. The Coalition has a strategy and action plan.

15. The Coalition Council has established the Analysis Center, which collects and processes all the information that will be obtained as a result of implementation of the Strategy, as well as any additional information in this regard. The main activities of the Analytical Center are:

- Development of analytical papers on various aspects of freedom from torture (papers);

- Analysis of the available information from the Coalition members, public authorities, international organizations;

- Preparation of the background papers on the general trend of combating torture in Tajikistan needs   analysis (needs assessment) in training, monitoring and research, legal aid, etc.;

- Preparation of alternative reports to the UN agencies, information materials, made on behalf of the Coalition;

- Analysis of the legislation and the monitoring of the legislation;

- Preparation of opinions Amicus;

- Monitoring the implementation of international obligations in the field of human rights;

- Implementation of other analytical and research activities.

16. Coalition has established a Media Center, which provides information support of the Coalition. Media center, will also implement the following activities:

- Support the Coalition’s website;

- Work with the media and journalists;

- Preparation of press releases, press conferences, information support of the Coalition activities, etc.

17. The Coalition has established the legal aid group to provide assistance to victims of torture, whose activities will focus on:

- Definition of the procedures and mechanisms for the provision of practical legal aid to the victims of torture (the basic requirements for involvement of lawyers for the protection of torture’s victims);

- Practical protection for victims of torture;

- Development of strategic litigation;

- Documenting the cases of torture;

- Continuous exchange of experiences with practicing lawyers on protection against torture;

- Management over the Honorarium Fund (sampling the cases, making decisions on hiring a lawyer for victims of torture through Honorarium Fund);

- Legal internship programs.

18. In the frame of the Coalition other working and thematic groups may be established by the decision of the Board. Each Working Group (center) is independent in the development of methods of its activities, may appoint the head (Secretary, technical assistant) of the group. Working groups report to the Board of the Coalition.

19. Activities of the Centers and Working Groups are interrelated, do not involve the creation of a formal structure, and will be carried out by representatives of organizations as part of its ongoing activities.

20. Organizations are free to join any of the working and thematic groups. They must provide a written notice to the Coalition’s Board about its interest to participate in a group with indication of the name of the person - the organization representative in the group. One organization may participate in the work of several groups.

21. Organizations can submit project proposals and participate in competitions on behalf of the Coalition with the approval of the Coalition’s Board. This is related to the proposals which are aimed to support the Coalition’s activities, such as meetings of the Coalition members, activities of the separate thematic or working groups etc. If the proposal is aimed at supporting a separate work or thematic working groups, the consent of the group members is needed.

22. Organizations are free to supply individual or joint projects under the Work Plan of the Coalition. In their project proposals they may indicate its membership in the Coalition and provide strategic documents of the Coalition (strategy, work plan, information on the activities of the member organizations of the Coalition, and other strategic documents.)

23. Taking into account that the Coalition member-organizations can compete for funds (to take part in competitions), they are not obliged to submit their project proposals (text proposals) submitted to the donor organizations. At the same time, they are encouraged to provide general information about the intention to provide a project proposal with a description of the activities. This will allow o avoid duplication of the work, to find potential partners and discuss the possibility to send project proposals for various activities to increase the chances of subsequent support for proposals. 

24. In the case of supporting the project proposals and implementation of the activities, organizations are required to provide some information about the project (project name, the donor, dates, activities and budget). This information will be updated on monthly basis by the Analytical Center and published on the Coalition’s website.

25. The present rules and principles are not limited in time and shall be considered as permanent.

26. Joining the coalition the participants shall accept and agree to these rules and principles.