Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

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Adopted on 18 December 2002 at the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (Resolution A/RES/57/199). Entered into force on 22 June 2006.

Contents

Relevant Provisions of the Optional Protocol to the CAT

Article 1

The objective of the Protocol is to establish a system of regular visits undertaken by independent international and national bodies to places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 2

1. A Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the Committee against Torture shall be established and shall carry out the functions laid down in the present Protocol. [...]

Article 3

Each State Party shall set up, designate or maintain at the domestic level one or several visiting bodies for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 4

1. Each State Party shall allow visits, in accordance with the present Protocol, by the mechanisms referred to in articles 2 and 3 to any place under its jurisdiction and control where persons are or may be deprived of their liberty, either by virtue of an order given by a public authority or at its instigation or with its consent or acquiescence (hereinafter referred to as places of detention). These visits shall be undertaken with a view to strengthening, if necessary, the protection of these persons against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

2. For the purposes of the present Protocol, deprivation of liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement of a person in a public or private custodial setting which that person is not permitted to leave at will by order of any judicial, administrative or other authority.


Note: The second part of the Optional Protocol details the composition and functioning of the Subcommittee on Prevention. The third part regards its Mandate. The fourth part deals with National preventive mechanisms.

Status of Signature, Ratification and Accession to the Optional Protocol to the CAT

Country Signature Ratification/Accession
Albania - 1 October 2003
Argentina 30 April 2003 15 November 2004
Armenia - 14 September 2006
Australia 19 May 2003 -
Austria 25 September 2003 -
Azerbaijan 15 September 2005 28 January 2009
Belgium 24 October 2005 -
Benin 24 February 2005 20 September 2006
Bolivia 22 May 2006 23 May 2006
Bosnia and Herzegovina 7 December 2007 24 October 2008
Brazil 13 October 2003 12 January 2007
Bulgaria 22 September 2010 1 June 2011
Burkina Faso 21 September 2005 7 July 2010
Cambodia 14 September 2005 30 March 2007
Cameroon 15 December 2009 -
Cape Verde 26 September 2011 -
Chile 6 June 2005 12 December 2008
Congo 29 September 2008 -
Costa Rica 4 February 2003 1 December 2005
Croatia 23 September 2003 25 April 2005
Cyprus 26 July 2004 29 April 2009
Czech Republic 13 September 2004 10 July 2006
Democratic Republic of the Congo - 23 September 2010
Denmark 26 June 2003 25 June 2004
Ecuador 24 May 2007 20 July 2010
Estonia 21 September 2004 18 December 2006
Finland 23 September 2003 -
France 16 September 2005 11 November 2008
Gabon 15 December 2004 22 September 2010
Georgia - 9 August 2005
Germany 20 September 2006 4 December 2008
Ghana 6 November 2006 -
Greece 3 March 2011 -
Guatemala 25 September 2003 9 June 2008
Guinea 16 September 2005 -
Honduras 8 December 2004 23 May 2006
Hungary - 12 January 2012
Iceland 24 September 2003 -
Ireland 2 October 2007 -
Italy 20 August 2003 -
Kazakhstan 25 September 2007 22 October 2008
Kyrgyzstan - 29 December 2008
Lebanon - 22 December 2008
Liberia - 22 September 2004
Liechtenstien 24 June 2005 3 November 2006
Luxembourg 13 January 2005 19 May 2010
Madagascar 23 September 2003 -
Maldives 14 September 2005 15 February 2006
Mali 19 January 2004 12 May 2005
Malta 24 September 2003 24 September 2003
Mauritania 27 September 2011 -
Mauritius - 21 June 2005
Mexico 23 September 2003 11 April 2005
Montenegro 23 October 2006 6 March 2009
Netherlands 3 June 2005 28 September 2010
New Zealand 23 September 2003 14 March 2007
Nicaragua 14 March 2007 25 February 2009
Nigeria - 27 July 2009
Norway 24 September 2003 -
Panama 22 September 2010 2 June 2011
Paraguay 22 September 2004 2 December 2005
Peru - 14 September 2006
Philippines - 17 April 2012
Poland 5 April 2004 14 September 2005
Portugal 15 February 2006 -
Republic of Moldova 16 September 2005 24 July 2006
Romania 24 September 2003 2 July 2009
Senegal 4 February 2003 18 September 2006
Serbia 25 September 2003 26 September 2006
Sierra Leone 26 September 2003 -
Slovenia - 23 January 2007
South Africa 20 September 2006 -
Spain 13 April 2005 4 April 2006
Sweden 26 June 2003 14 September 2005
Switzerland 25 June 2004 24 September 2009
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 September 2006 13 February 2009
Timor Leste 16 September 2005 -
Togo 15 September 2005 20 July 2010
Tunisia - 29 June 2011
Turkey 14 September 2005 27 September 2011
Ukraine 23 September 2005 19 September 2006
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 26 June 2003 10 December 2003
Uruguay 12 January 2004 8 December 2005
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 1 July 2011 -
Zambia 27 September 2010 -




See International Law, Representing Victims of Torture