In accordance with its mandate under the Optional Protocol to the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the
Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment conducted a regular visit to Spain from 15 to 26 October 2017.
The Subcommittee members conducting the visit were: Felipe Villavicencio
Terreros (head of delegation), Lorena González Pinto (Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee),
Nora Sveaass (Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee), Roberto Michel Fehér Pérez and Abdallah
The Subcommittee was assisted by three human rights officers and two security
officers from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Spain ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 21 October 1987 and ratified the Optional Protocol
thereto on 4 April 2006. Organic Act No. 1/2009 of 3 November amended the Ombudsman
Act to include a single final provision designating the Ombudsman as the national
preventive mechanism of Spain.
One of the aims of the visit was to provide advice and technical assistance to the
national preventive mechanism of Spain, in accordance with article 11 (b) of the Optional
Protocol. The visit was also conducted with a view to strengthening the capacity and the
mandate of the national preventive mechanism.
The present report sets out a series of recommendations to the national preventive
mechanism of Spain. These recommendations are made in line with the Subcommittee’s
obligation to offer training and technical assistance with a view to strengthening the
capacities of national preventive mechanisms and to advise and assist those mechanisms in
the evaluation of the needs and the means necessary to strengthen the protection of persons
deprived of their liberty against torture and other ill-treatment, under article 11 (b) (ii) and
(iii) of the Optional Protocol.
This report will be sent to the national preventive mechanism of Spain on a
confidential basis; it will be up to the national preventive mechanism to decide whether or
not to make it public. The Subcommittee does, however, recommend that the national
preventive mechanism make the report public and requests that it be notified of the
mechanism’s decision in that regard.
The Subcommittee will prepare a separate confidential report for the Spanish
authorities in which it will make recommendations to the State party.
The Subcommittee wishes to express its gratitude to the national preventive
mechanism for its assistance and cooperation in the planning and undertaking of the visit.
II. National preventive mechanism
Organic Act No. 1/2009 of 3 November amended the Ombudsman Act to include a
single final provision designating the Ombudsman as the national preventive mechanism of
Spain. The mechanism has been established as a unit within the organizational structure of
the Office of the Ombudsman; the unit is composed of a supervisor, technical advisers and
administrative assistants and is supported in its work by external experts. The mechanism
also has an advisory board, which is responsible for technical and legal cooperation and is
made up of persons nominated by professional associations and persons with recognized
experience in the defence of human rights or in fields relating to the treatment of detainees,
who were selected following a call for applications.