T O O L

CTI/UNCAT Implementation Tool 1/2017

STATE STRATEGIES TO PREVENT AND
RESPOND TO TORTURE AND OTHER
ILL-TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
Putting in place measures to prevent and eradicate torture and other ill-treatment in all its forms, and which
provide redress for victims, takes time. Ratifying the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) is just the start of a process of ongoing implementation
and improvement leading to more efficient and fairer administration of justice, improved rule of law and
governance, strengthened independence of the judiciary, and a safer and freer society. Because UNCAT does
not prescribe how its various articles are to be implemented, each State party is free to develop laws, policies,
practices and mechanisms that reflect and respond to their own unique national context and character.
Preparing a strategy (or action plan) can help to identify and plan the specific short-, mid- and long-term steps
proposed to prevent torture and other ill-treatment or punishment.
Strategies aimed at torture prevention have sometimes been developed during reform initiatives, or in
response to a particular incident that exposed some weakness in policy or practice, or to effect positive change
during a period of transition. Even in the absence of such triggers, torture prevention strategies have been put
in place to strengthen the rule of law and protection for individuals and to develop good relations between
citizens and the State authorities.
Different approaches to strategies have been adopted by States. Some States have developed national torture
prevention strategies either as a specific strategy or as part of a broader human rights national action plan.
Others have subsumed elements relating to torture prevention within national development plans, including
in relation to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In federal or other decentralised
States, strategies may be developed at a federal level and/or at the sub-national levels. Also at a practical level,
operational plans of specific departments or services have incorporated torture prevention objectives and
targeted actions. These approaches help prevent torture and ill-treatment or punishment. For the purposes of
this tool, they are referred to as “torture prevention strategies”.

NATIONAL
TORTURE
PREVENTION
STRATEGY

NATIONAL
HUMAN RIGHTS
ACTION PLAN

NATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT
PLAN

AGENCY
OPERATIONAL
PLANS

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 context-specific strategies,
mechanisms and procedures to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment or punishment, and provide remedies for victims.

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