CAT/OP/7

United Nations

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

Distr.: General
24 May 2019
Original: English

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

National preventive mechanism checklist on health-care
issues relating to the monitoring of places of detention*
I. Introduction
1.
The present document was prepared pursuant to a decision taken by the
Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture at its thirty-second session, in accordance with its
mandate as set forth in article 11 (b) of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
2.
The availability and the quality of health care in prisons are crucial indicators in
assessing the risk of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and even torture.
3.
National preventive mechanisms should ensure that they cover health-care issues
comprehensively in order to fulfil their preventive mandate. The checklist annexed below is
recommended as a self-assessment tool to remind national preventive mechanisms of the
critical health issues that they should consider in their evaluations of places of deprivation
of liberty. The checklist is expected to reveal a general pattern of health-care issues that are,
or are not, being addressed in their visit reports. It is designed for internal use only and not
as an instrument for assessing actual conditions in places of deprivation of liberty. National
preventive mechanisms are encouraged to design their own health-care assessment tools for
use in all their monitoring visits.

II. Objectives of the checklist
4.

The objectives of the checklist are to:

(a)
Remind national preventive mechanisms of the important health-care issues
that need to be noted during their visits;
(b)
Identify gaps in the capacity of national preventive mechanisms to monitor
health aspects of torture prevention and, if necessary, strengthen their health expertise.

III. Design of the checklist
5.
The checklist consists of six categories of health-care issues, which are based on the
United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson
Mandela Rules) and on the Istanbul Protocol (knowledge, sensitivity and professional
ethics, and practice, included under the section on health staff). The comments

* Adopted by the Subcommittee at its thirty-third session (13–17 November 2017).
GE.19-08555(E)

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