UN torture prevention body announces forthcoming visits
GENEVA (16 December 2019) — The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture announced it will visit Central African Republic in 2020, in addition to its previously announced visits to Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Nauru and Paraguay.
The visits were decided during the Subcommittee’s final confidential session of this year, held in Geneva from 18 to 22 November.
During the session, the Subcommittee also decided to make public its views, which were originally requested by the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of Brazil, on the compatibility of recent legislative changes in Brazil with the Optional Protocol.
The views, which are now available online here, state that the changes made to Brazil’s NPM make it impossible for it to operate in compliance with the Optional Protocol. The Subcommittee recommended that Brazilian authorities and the NPM engage to find solutions to reinforce torture prevention in the country.
In other work during its weeklong session, the Subcommittee also added Niger, which ratified the Optional Protocol in 2014, to the list of States that are significantly overdue in establishing an NPM against torture. The Optional Protocol obliges States parties to establish an NPM in their country within one year of ratification. Other States parties who are also currently substantially overdue in complying with this obligation are: Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Mongolia, Nauru, Nigeria and the Philippines.
In this session, the Subcommittee also adopted the confidential reports on its visits to Costa Rica, to be sent to the state authorities and as well as the National Preventive Mechanism.
The Subcommittee has a mandate to visit States that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and assist those States in preventing torture and ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty. The Subcommittee communicates its observations and recommendations to States through confidential reports, which it encourages countries to make public.
In 2019, the Subcommittee completed visits to Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Ghana, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain.