In 1983, at the suggestion of its founder, the late Jean-Jacques Gautier, the Swiss Committee against Torture convened a symposium on means of eradicating torture. The meeting, which was held in Geneva, brought together almost 70 experts from some 30 countries representing many different human rights organizations. It concluded that a way had to be found to create a more effective role for the hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world which had been set up to eliminate torture. In particular, it suggested establishing a service to speed up the circulation of information gathered by these NGOs, to facilitate rapid representations to the United Nations and other regional organizations responsible for defending human rights and, when desirable, to organize concerted action. This, it was thought, might finally do something to help the victims of torture.