T O O L UNCAT Implementation Tool 7/2019 PROCEDURES AND MECHANISMS TO HANDLE COMPLAINTS OF AND INVESTIGATIONS INTO TORTURE OR OTHER ILL-TREATMENT Putting in place procedures to investigate allegations and to enable persons to lodge complaints of torture or other ill-treatment (Articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT)) helps States to prevent abuses and to combat impunity. Fair and effective procedures clarify the circumstances of any allegation, hold those responsible accountable, and provide reparations for harm suffered. Complaints and investigation procedures are complementary and mutually reinforcing: they reaffirm the rule of law, strengthen the professionalism of public services and build trust in State institutions. They can also help to improve working conditions for government officials and protect them against wrongful or vexatious allegations. The information gathered can be an important learning opportunity and can assist officials, and others, to identify areas in need of reform which can inform future strategies to prevent torture and other illtreatment. “ [Complaints] mechanisms can not only allay tensions between persons deprived of their liberty and staff but also, by ensuring that complaints are taken seriously, contribute to building positive relationships.” European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Annual Report 2017 This tool sets out the key guiding principles for complaints procedures and investigations of torture and other ill-treatment and includes examples drawn from various countries and contexts of laws, institutions, practices and procedures to inspire good practice. The CTI ‘UNCAT Implementation Tools’ are a series of practical tools designed to share good practices among States on the implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). They offer thematic guidance and ideas for State practitioners and policy-makers as they develop or revise contextspecific strategies, mechanisms and procedures to prevent and punish torture and other forms of ill-treatment or punishment, and provide remedies for victims. 1/17

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