National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture

Following the promulgation of the “Optional Protocol of the Convention Against Torture and other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment of Punishment,” which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New York on December 18, 2002, many countries interested in the protection of the Human Rights of their citizens ratified the protocol.

Many states in the world have set up specialised bodies on torture prevention, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment treatment which acted as National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture and mandated to conduct regular visits to all types of places where persons are deprived of liberty. The setting up of these bodies have been expanded the purpose of protecting Human Rights preventing situations of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment worldwide.

In this section of the Defensor del Pueblo you can find a list of National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture worldwide. When it has been possible to find them, the list also includes links to their NPMs´ web pages.

NPM in the World

Informes sobre España, legislación y organismos

  • This section features some of the most significant organizations and entities whose purpose is the prevention of and fight against torture and any other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment including links to their institutional web portals.
  • Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (SPT).
  • This Subcommittee was created by the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. Its head offices are in Geneva and it usually holds two periods of sessions per year. It publishes its interpretation of the content of Human Rights provisions in the form of general observations.
  • Committee against Torture (CAT).
  • This Committee was created by the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It draws up progress reports on the situation in each Member State and, in certain circumstances, it looks into accusations by private individuals and investigations made in this field. Its head offices are in Geneva.
  • European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment (CPT).
  • It was created in 1987 in the context of the Convention of the Council of Europe on this matter. Its activity forms part of the system of the Council of Europe for the protection of Human Rights as a preventive mechanism which acts in collaboration with the legal control mechanism which is the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).
  • This is a Non-Governmental Organisation which works in the field of Human Rights and, in particular, in the fight against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It has played a very active role in the promotion of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture of the United Nations.