GENEVA (6 July 2015) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has announced plans to visit 10 countries in 2016, as part of its work to prevent and eliminate torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment of detainees.
In the first half of 2016, delegations from the SPT are due to visit Chile, Cyprus, Romania, Tunisia and Ukraine, with the five further countries announced in due course. The SPT’s work includes visiting places where people are deprived of their liberty, including prisons, police stations, migrant detention centres and psychiatric hospitals.
“This is the most ambitious programme of work the SPT has yet undertaken. This is, of course, done in parallel with other additional activities we carry out in many other countries,” said Malcolm Evans, Chairperson of the SPT.
“The SPT has an important role, working with States and providing them with guidance, technical advice and assistance on how they can best prevent torture and ill-treatment and comply with their treaty obligations. We are delighted to be able to be more active than ever before in seeking to fulfil this role,” he added.
The SPT works with the 79 national governments that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT). It also works with independent national monitoring bodies known as National Preventive Mechanisms.
“It is of huge importance to us that we work ever more closely with national, regional and other international mechanisms involved in the prevention of torture, with the ultimate aim of better protecting the right of those deprived of their liberty to be free of torture or ill-treatment,” said Mr. Evans.
The Optional Protocol on the Prevention of Torture has to date been ratified by 79 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to the State by means of a confidential report, and if necessary to National Preventive Mechanisms. However, State parties are encouraged to request that the SPT makes these reports public.
For more information, read OHCHR press release.