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Policy and methodological publications

Preventing Torture: An Operational Guide for National Human Rights Institutions


01 May 2010


Torture and inhuman treatment

This Guide aims to support and strengthen the work of national human rights institutions – whether they are human rights commissions or ombudsman offices – in the prevention of torture, especially institutions that are fully compliant with the Paris Principles. The Guide is designed to be a practical toolkit to support national human rights institutions as they plan and undertake concrete activities to prevent torture in their country. The Guide begins by explaining the concept of torture prevention and highlights the importance of engaging in a global, integrated strategy to prevent torture. The first section of the Guide provides the legal context for the prevention of torture, including the definition of torture and the relevant international and regional instruments that prohibit torture. The second section outlines the practical steps that national human rights institutions can undertake to prevent torture. Examples of good practices from different institutions have been included to illustrate effective ways of putting torture prevention strategies into action. Each chapter includes key questions, the legal basis for the involvement of national human rights institutions, discussion of the major issues and options for further reading. The companion CD-ROM contains a range of useful documents and resource materials.


Published jointly by OHCHR with the Asia Pacific Forum and the Association for the Prevention of Torture

Print format:

A5 soft cover