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UN torture prevention body to visit Costa Rica


GENEVA (February 28, 2019) — The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture will make its first visit to Costa Rica from 3 to 14 March to assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the safeguards for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.

"Costa Rica was one of the first states to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and had been involved in initial negotiations of it since the 1980s. The time is now right to evaluate Costa Rica’s commitment to its obligations under the Optional Protocol," said Roberto Fehér Perez, head of the delegation. 

During its mission, the Subcommittee intends to visit prisons, police stations, detention facilities for women and minors, detention facilities for migrants, as well as psychiatric hospitals. The Subcommittee will also hold meetings with state authorities and with Costa Rica’s National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture. It will also meet with members of civil society to discuss how to prevent torture and ill-treatment, and improve the conditions of detention for persons deprived of their liberty in Costa Rica.

The Subcommittee is mandated to visit all States parties to the Optional Protocol. States parties have an obligation to establish a monitoring body, known as the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), within one year of ratifying the Optional Protocol. Costa Rica ratified the Optional Protocol in 2005, and appointed its NPM in 2015, which is attached to the Ombudsman's Office. 

At the end of the visit, the Subcommittee will present its confidential preliminary observations to the government of Costa Rica. 

The delegation will comprise Roberto Fehér Perez (Head of delegation, Uruguay), Maria Dolores Gomez (Argentina), Maria Luisa Romero (Panama), Nora Sveaass (Norway), and Juan Pablo Vegas (Peru).



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 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 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! 

In Geneva, for media inquiries, please contact Julia Grønnevet at +41 (0) 22 917 9310/jgronnevet@ohchr.org.

In Costa Rica, for more information and media inquiries, please contact Hernan Vales +506 8723 0825/Hvales@ohchr.org (during the visit).

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