Prevention of Torture – and CPT

The European Convention against Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and CPT

Signatory states of the European Convention against Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CETS No. 126) are obligated to prevent all forms of torture within their jurisdiction. The convention entered into force in 1989 and has been ratified by all Council of Europe member states.

Monitoring

Monitoring within the framework of this convention is carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – in short: CPT
CPT is composed of one independent expert per member state, elected by the Committee of Ministers for a twice-renewable four-year term of office.

CPT pays regular visits to all member states, but is also allowed to schedule ad-hoc visits, if need be. Visits are always announced beforehand, and signatory states have to grant CPT members unrestricted access to all facilities, where people are kept in detention, i.e. prisons, juvenile detention centres, police stations, holding centres for immigration detainees, psychiatric hospitals, social care homes, etc.

During these visits, CPT members familiarise themselves with the conditions within these facilities and have confidential, in-depth talks with government officials, detainees, residents, representatives of non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders from civil society.

After each visit, CPT draws up a report on its findings on behalf of the Committee of Ministers and adds recommendations for further action. The government of the member state in question is then asked to hand in a detailed response to this report.

If the member state in question agrees, both the report and the government response are subsequently published by the Council of Europe.

CPTs annual report to the Committee of Ministers on its overall activities gets published by the Council of Europe and is available to the public.

Official TV-Spot of the Councul of Europe:


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