Convention Against Torture

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Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984. Entered into force on June 26, 1987.

Relevant Provisions of the Convention Against Torture

Article 1 - Definition of Torture

The term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

Article 2

Each state party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measure to prevent torture. No exceptional circumstances, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or other public emergency may be invoked as justification of torture. An order from a superior officer or public authority may not be invoked as justification of torture.

Article 3

No state party shall extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subject to torture. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

Article 4

Each state party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. Each state party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.

Article 6

Any person in custody shall be assisted in communicating immediately with the nearest appropriate representative of the State of which he is a national.

Article 7

Persons alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 are entitled to fair treatment at all stages of proceedings.

Article 10

Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.

Article 13

Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleged he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any given evidence.

Article 14

Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible. If the victim is dead as a result of an act of torture, his dependants shall be entitled to compensation.

Article 15

Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.


Status of Signature, Ratification and Accession to the Convention Against Torture

Country Signature Ratification/Accession
Afghanistan 4 February 1985 1 April 1987
Albania - 11 May 1994
Algeria 26 November 1985 12 September 1989
Andorra 5 August 2002 22 September 2006
Antigua and Barbuda - 19 July 1993
Argentina 4 February 1985 24 September 1986
Armenia - 13 September 1993
Australia 10 December 1985 8 August 1989
Austria 14 March 1985 29 July 1987
Azerbaijan - 16 August 1996
Bahamas 16 December 2008 -
Bahrain - 6 March 1998
Bangladesh - 5 October 1998
Belarus 19 December 1985 13 March 1987
Belgium 4 February 1985 25 June 1999
Belize - 17 March 1986
Benin - 12 March 1992
Bolivia 4 February 1985 12 April 1999
Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1 September 1993
Botswana 8 September 2000 8 September 2000
Brazil 23 September 1985 28 September 1989
Bulgaria 10 June 1986 16 December 1986
Burkina Faso - 4 January 1999
Burundi - 18 February 1993
Cambodia - 15 October 1992
Cameroon - 19 December 1986
Canada 23 August 1985 24 June 1987
Cape Verde - 4 June 1992
Chad - 9 June 1995
Chile 23 September 1987 30 September 1988
China 12 December 1986 4 October 1988
Colombia 10 April 1985 8 December 1987
Comoros 22 September 2000 -
Congo - 30 July 2003
Costa Rica 4 February 1985 11 November 1993
Ivory Coast - 18 December 1995
Croatia - 12 October 1992
Cuba 27 January 1986 17 May 1995
Cyprus 9 October 1985 18 July 1991
Czech Republic - 22 February 1993
Democratic Republic of the Congo - 18 March 1996
Denmark 4 February 1985 27 May 1987
Djibouti - 5 November 2002
Dominican Republic 4 February 1985 -
Ecuador 4 February 1985 30 March 1988
Egypt - 25 June 1986
El Salvador - 17 June 1996
Equatorial Guinea - 8 October 2002
Estonia - 21 October 1991
Ethiopia - 14 March 1994
Finland 4 February 1985 30 August 1989
France 4 February 1985 18 February 1986
Gabon 21 January 1986 8 September 2000
Gambia 23 October 1985 -
Georgia - 26 October 1994
Germany 13 October 1986 1 October 1990
Ghana 7 September 2000 7 September 2000
Greece 4 February 1985 6 October 1988
Guatemala - 5 January 1990
Guinea 30 May 1986 10 October 1989
Guinea Bissau 12 September 2000 -
Guyana 25 January 1988 19 May 1988
Holy See - 26 June 2002
Honduras - 5 December 1996
Hungary 28 November 1986 15 April 1987
Iceland 4 February 1985 23 October 1998
Iraq - 7 July 2011
Ireland 28 September 1992 11 April 2002
Israel 22 October 1986 3 October 1991
Italy 4 February 1985 12 January 1989
Japan - 29 June 1999
Jordan - 13 November 1991
Kazakhstan - 26 August 1998
Kenya - 21 February 1997
Kuwait - 8 March 1996
Kyrgyzstan - 5 September 1997
Lao People's Democratic Republic 21 September 2010 -
Latvia - 14 April 1992
Lebanon - 5 October 2000
Lesotho - 12 November 2001
Liberia - 22 September 2004
Libyan Ara Jamahiriya - 16 May 1989
Liechtenstien 27 June 1985 2 November 1990
Lithuania - 1 February 1996
Luxembourg 22 February 1985 29 September 1987
Magadascar 1 October 2001 13 December 2005
Malawi - 11 June 1996
Maldives - 20 April 2004
Mali - 26 February 1999
Malta - 13 September 1990
Mauritania - 17 November 2004
Mexico 18 March 1985 23 January 1986
Monaco - 6 December 1991
Mongolia - 24 January 2002
Montenegro - 23 October 2006
Morocco 8 January 1986 21 June 1993
Mozambique - 14 September 1999
Namibia - 28 November 1994
Nauru 12 November 2001 -
Nepal - 14 May 1991
Netherlands 4 February 1985 21 December 1988
New Zealand 14 January 1986 10 December 1989
Nicaragua 15 April 1985 5 July 2005
Niger - 5 October 1998
Nigeria 28 July 1988 28 June 2001
Norway 4 February 1985 9 July 1986
Pakistan 17 April 2008 23 June 2010
Palau 20 September 2011 -
Panama 22 February 1985 24 August 1987
Paraguay 23 October 1989 12 March 1990
Peru 29 May 1985 7 July 1988
Philippines - 18 June 1986
Poland 13 January 1986 26 July 1989
Portugal 4 February 1985 9 February 1989
Qatar - 11 January 2000
Republic of Korea - 9 January 1995
Republic of Moldova - 28 November 1995
Romania - 18 December 1990
Russian Federation 10 December 1985 3 March 1987
Rwanda - 15 December 2008
San Marino 18 September 2002 27 November 2006
Sao Tome and Principe 6 September 2000 -
Saudi Arabia - 23 September 1997
Senegal 4 February 1985 21 August 1986
Serbia - 12 March 2001
Seychelles - 5 May 1992
Sierra Leone 18 March 1985 25 April 2001
Slovakia - 28 May 1993
Slovenia - 16 July 1993
Somalia - 24 January 1990
South Africa 29 January 1993 10December1998
Spain 4 February 1985 21 October 1987
Sri Lanka - 3 January 1994
St Vincent and the Grenadines - 1 August 2001
Sudan 4 June 1986 -
Swaziland - 26 March 2004
Sweden 4 February 1985 8 January 1986
Switzerland 4 February 1985 2 December 1986
Syrian Arab Republic - 19 August 2004
Tajikistan - 11 January 1995
Thailand - 2 October 2007
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - 12 December 1994
Timor Leste - 16 April 2003
Togo 25 March 1987 18 November 1987
Tunisia 26 August 1987 23 September 1988
Turkey 25 January 1988 2 August 1988
Turkmenistan - 25 June 1999
Uganda - 3 November 1986
Ukraine 27 February 1986 24 February 1987
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 15 March 1985 8 December 1988
United State of America 18 April 1988 21 October 1994
Uruguay 4 February 1985 24 October 1986
Uzbekistan - 28 September 1995
Vanuatu - 12 July 2011
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 15 February 1985 29 July 1991
Yemen - 5 November 1991
Zambia - 7 October 1998

( signatures)


See International Law