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UN torture prevention body announces forthcoming country visits and issues views on Brazil

GENEVA (16 December 2019) —  The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture announced it will visit Central African Republic in 2020, in addition to its previously announced visits to Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Nauru and Paraguay.

The visits were decided during the Subcommittee’s final confidential session of this year, held in Geneva from 18 to 22 November.

During the session, the Subcommittee also decided to make public its views, which were originally requested by the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of Brazil, on the compatibility of recent legislative changes in Brazil with the Optional Protocol.

The views, which are now available online here, state that the changes made to Brazil’s NPM make it impossible for it to operate in compliance with the Optional Protocol. The Subcommittee recommended that Brazilian authorities and the NPM engage to find solutions to reinforce torture prevention in the country.

In other work during its weeklong session, the Subcommittee also added Niger, which ratified the Optional Protocol in 2014, to the list of States that are significantly overdue in establishing an NPM against torture. The Optional Protocol obliges States parties to establish an NPM in their country within one year of ratification. Other States parties who are also currently substantially overdue in complying with this obligation are: Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Mongolia, Nauru, Nigeria and the Philippines.

In this session, the Subcommittee also adopted the confidential reports on its visits to Costa Rica, to be sent to the state authorities and as well as the National Preventive Mechanism.

The Subcommittee has a mandate to visit States that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and assist those States in preventing torture and ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty. The Subcommittee communicates its observations and recommendations to States through confidential reports, which it encourages countries to make public.

In 2019, the Subcommittee completed visits to Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Ghana, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

ENDS

Background:

The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture monitors States parties’ adherence to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, which to date has been ratified by 90 countries. The Subcommittee is made up of 25 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties. The Subcommittee has a mandate to undertake visits to States parties, during the course of which it may visit any place where persons may be deprived of their liberty.

Learn more with our videos on the Treaty Body system and on the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture.

For further inquiries please contact Joao Nataf at SPT Secretariat + 41 (0) 22 917 9102 / jnataf@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries, please contact the UN Human Rights Office Media Section at +41 (0) 22 928 9855 / media@ohchr.org or Kiera Schuller at +41 (0) 22 917 9826 / kschuller@ohchr.org.

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