The adoption, on 15 October 2013, of Law No. 119 on urgent safety
provisions and on combating gender-based violence.
The Committee commends the State party’s initiatives to amend its policies and
procedures in order to afford greater protection of human rights and to apply the
Convention, in particular:
The adoption of the national action plan against the trafficking and severe
exploitation of human beings (2016–2018), in February 2016;
The adoption of the national action plan to combat violence against women
(2017–2020), in 2017;
The establishment of the Directorate General of Training at the Department
of Penitentiary Administration, Ministry of Justice, in 2015.
The Committee values the significant efforts made by the State party to respond to
the large influx of asylum seekers, persons in need of international protection and irregular
migrants arriving in its territory.
The Committee appreciates the fact that the State party maintains a standing
invitation to the special procedure mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, which has
allowed a number of independent experts with mandates relevant to the Convention to carry
out visits to the country during the reporting period.
Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Pending follow-up issues from the previous reporting cycle
While noting with appreciation the information provided by the State party on 9
May 2008 under the follow-up procedure (CAT/C/ITA/CO/4/Add.1) and with reference to
the letter dated 17 November 2009 from the Committee’s Rapporteur for Follow-up on
Concluding Observations, the Committee still considers that the recommendations included
in paragraphs 7 (fundamental safeguards), 12 (non-refoulement: expulsions on the grounds
of national security), 16 (conditions of detention) and 20 (compensation and rehabilitation)
of the previous concluding observations (CAT/C/ITA/CO/4) have not yet been
implemented (see paragraphs 18, 20, 32 and 42, respectively, of the present document).
Definition and criminalization of torture
While noting the adoption of Law No. 110 of 14 July 2017 introducing the crime of
torture as a specific offence, the Committee considers that the definition set forth in the new
article 613 bis of the Criminal Code is incomplete inasmuch as it fails to mention the
purpose of the act in question, contrary to what is prescribed in the Convention. Moreover,
the basic offence does not include specifications relating to the perpetrator — namely,
reference to the act being committed by, at the instigation of, or with the consent or
acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. Despite the
explanations given by the delegation as to the non-cumulative nature of the elements
mentioned in article 613 bis, the Committee considers that this definition is significantly
narrower than the definition contained in the Convention, and establishes a higher threshold
for the crime of torture by adding elements beyond those mentioned in article 1 of the
Convention (art. 1).
The State party should bring the content of article 613 bis of the Criminal Code
into line with article 1 of the Convention by eliminating all superfluous elements and
identifying the perpetrator and the motivating factors or reasons for the use of torture
(i.e. to obtain information or a confession, to punish the victim, to intimidate or coerce
the victim or a third person, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind). The
Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 2 (2007) on
the implementation of article 2, in which it states that serious discrepancies between
the Convention’s definition and that incorporated into domestic law create actual or
potential loopholes for impunity (para. 9).