Optional Protocol to the
Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment
25 January 2016
Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
Analytical assessment tool for national preventive
Pursuant to article 2 (1) of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a State party is obliged to take effective legislative,
administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its
jurisdiction. In this framework States parties are obliged to ensure that education and
information on the prohibition against torture is fully included in the training of all
personnel who may be involved in depriving persons of their liberty.1 The prohibition of
torture should be included in the working regulations of such personnel, and all methods of
and processes for taking the liberty and freedom of a person should be reviewed
systematically.2 The same principles apply to other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.3
In the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment it is stressed that effective prevention of
torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment requires education
and a combination of various legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures. As
one means of prevention, the Optional Protocol establishes a system of regular visits to all
places of detention.
It is the responsibility of the State party to ensure that it has in place a national
preventive mechanism that complies with the requirements of the Optional Protocol (see
CAT/OP/12/5, para. 2). Preventive work should be carried out by that mechanism, with its
main task to visit places of detention in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment.4 The State party shall guarantee the organizational and
functional independence of the mechanism and provide it with the resources necessary to
enable it to carry out its functions in accordance with the requirements of the Optional
Protocol. It shall, however, refrain from supervising the mechanism.
Article 10 (1) of the Convention.
Articles 10 (2) and 11 of the Convention.
Article 16 (1) of the Convention.
Article 1 of the Optional Protocol.