GENEVA (March 8, 2019) — In the coming months, the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture will visit Argentina, the State of Palestine, and Sri Lanka, in addition to its previously announced visits to Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Ghana, Senegal and the United Kingdom. The visit to Sri Lanka will take place in early April, and a media advisory announcing the precise dates, as well as further information, will be issued ahead of the visit.
The visits were decided during the Subcommittee’s confidential session held in Geneva from 18 to 22 February. In other work during its session, the Subcommittee welcomed Panama’s recent establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism against torture, and removed the country from its list of states significantly overdue in establishing such a mechanism. The Subcommittee also adopted confidential reports on its visits to Belize, Morocco, and Kyrgyzstan, and sent the reports to the respective state authorities and as well as to the National Preventive Mechanism of Kyrgyzstan.
During its weeklong session, the Subcommittee also discussed and adopted its 2018 annual report; during the course of last year, the Subcommittee visited, inter alia, 34 prisons, 53 police stations, 11 juvenile detention centres, eight psychiatric and health-care institutions, and three closed migrant centres. It also conducted over 1,000 individual or collective interviews, mainly with detainees but also with officials, law enforcement personnel and medical staff.
To date, the Subcommittee has completed more than 65 visits. The Subcommittee has a mandate to visit states which have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and assist those states in preventing torture and other forms of ill-treatment. The Subcommittee communicates its observations and recommendations to states through a confidential report, which it encourages countries to make public.
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 89 countries. The Committee 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 SPT 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!
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