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Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT)

OP to the Convention against Torture
- Status of ratification,
Reservations and declarations

Convention against torture
- Status of ratification, Reservations and declarations

The SPT and its work

SPT Regional Teams
Press releases
Concept of prevention of torture
Guidelines of the SPT in relation to visits to States parties
E | F | S | R | C | A
SPT visits and follow-up
Outline of a regular SPT visit
Note on the SPT Advisory visits to NPMs
The SPT in brief
Factfile on the SPT
National preventive mechanisms
SPT annual reports
Rules of Procedure
E | F | R | S | A
OPCAT Contact Group
Secretariat contact details

OPCAT Special Fund

OPCAT Special Fund

Further information
Treaty bodies database
Universal Human Rights Index
Related UN Links

Committee against Torture Special Rapporteur on Torture
UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture
Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

External links

African Commission on Human and People's Rights
Amnesty International
APT OPCAT Database
Human Rights Implementation Centre of the University of Bristol
Inter-American Commission of Human Rights
Penal Reform International
Torture Reporting Book
Harm Reduction International

Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external websites and the provision of links on this page does not imply that OHCHR associates itself with such content.


In accordance with its mandate set forth in Article 11(b) of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter referred to as ‘Optional Protocol’), the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter referred to as ‘SPT’) undertakes Advisory Visits to National Preventive Mechanisms (hereinafter referred to as ‘NPMs’).

During its Advisory Visits to NPMs, the SPT seeks to support and reinforce NPM’s mandate by assisting the NPM and the State Party through the provision of technical advice and assistance regarding its effective functioning and though practical capacity building activities.

Generally, Advisory Visits to NPMs allow the SPT to focus on the legal and practical framework within which the NPM is working and enables the SPT to engage directly both with the NPM, other national institutions and civil society to learn more about its work in practice. The objective is to help strengthen the NPM and thereby strengthen the protection afforded to persons deprived of their liberty against torture and other ill-treatment. Each NPM-focused visit is therefore context-driven and is designed in such a way as to maximise its impact upon the work of the national body. In situations where the State visited has yet to designate its NPM, as required by the OPCAT, the SPT will meet with State authorities, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), civil society and others in order to explore and remedy this failure to comply with international obligations. When undertaking such visits, the SPT draws on its NPM Guidelines (CAT/OP/12/5), its Approach to the Concept of Prevention (CAT/OP/12/6), its Analytical self-assessment tool for NPMs (CAT/OP/1) as well as its other published papers relevant to the effective establishment and functioning of NPMs. Following NPM Advisory Visits, the SPT produces two Visit Reports, one to the NPM and the other to the State Party, both of which remain confidential unless the addressee determines otherwise, and both of which form the basis of an ongoing constructive dialogue, in accordance with established OPCAT principles.

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