United Nations

CAT/OP/1
Distr.: General

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

6 February
2012
Original: English

Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment

Analytical self-assessment tool for National Prevention Mechanisms (NPM)
A preliminary guide by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture regarding the functioning of an
NPM

Contents
Paragraphs Page

I.Introduction1–33
II.Development strategy of the NPM4–73
III.Internal organization84
IV.Implementation of activities9–294
A.Planning9–124
B.Visit methodology13–185
C.Visit reports19–216
D.Follow-up on SPT’s and own recommendations for changes22–246
E.Prevention of reprisals against persons interviewed during visits and others providing the NPM with information before or after a
visit256
F.Issues related to the Constitution and legislative framework26–297
V.Crosscutting issues30–387
A.Cooperation and communication30–337
B.Systematization of experiences348
C.Budgets; prioritizing resources35–368
D.Internal capacity building378
E.Annual report388

I.Introduction
1.The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(OPCAT) provides that the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) shall visit places of detention in order to prevent torture and
other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (torture and ill-treatment). The visits shall be undertaken with a view to
strengthening, if necessary, the protection of persons deprived of their liberty against torture and ill-treatment. The NPM shall
regularly examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in places of detention with a view to strengthening, if necessary,
their protection against torture and ill-treatment; and shall make recommendations to the relevant authorities with the aim of improving
the treatment and the conditions of persons deprived of their liberty and to prevent torture and ill-treatment. Moreover, the NPM
may submit proposals and observations concerning existing and draft legislation. It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that it
has in place an NPM which complies with the requirements of the Optional Protocol.
2.The State Party (SP) shall guarantee the functional independence of the NPM and provide it with the necessary resources to enable
it to carry out its functions in accordance with the requirements of the OPCAT. The competent authorities are obliged to examine the
recommendations of the NPM and to enter into a dialogue with it regarding the implementation of its recommendations.

Select target paragraph3