Campaign to Ban Torture | Center for Victims of Torture

Campaign to Ban Torture

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States used torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners in counterterrorism activities.  Formerly an international leader in efforts to end torture, the United States became a perpetrator.

The Campaign to Ban Torture was an initiative of the Center for Victims of Torture, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and Evangelicals for Human Rights (today called the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good) aimed at securing a presidential executive order that would ban torture and cruel treatment in counterterrorism activities. The goal was to join CVT’s voice with the voices of national religious leaders and those of the nation’s military, national security and foreign policy leaders.

The Campaign to Ban Torture created the Declaration of Principles for a Presidential Executive Order on Prisoner Treatment, Torture and Cruelty (PDF).

Over 200 prominent religious leaders and military, national security and foreign policy experts endorsed the Declaration of Principles. Among them were three former Secretaries of Defense, three former National Security Advisors, three former Secretaries of Defense, and four former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

The Campaign was instrumental in encouraging President Obama to sign an executive order on torture and interrogation policy on January 22, 2009.


We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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