EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR THE PREVENTION OF TORTURE AND INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
"The Committee shall, by means of visits, examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty with a view to strengthening, if necessary, the protection of such persons from torture and from inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Member States of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, publication of the Committee's reports on request of the State concerned; general reports of the CPT are public
"In recent years the Council of Europe's efforts to guarantee human rights have laid increasing emphasis on preventing violations. Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". This article inspired the drafting, in 1987, of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The Convention provides non-judicial preventive machinery to protect detainees. It is based on a system of visits by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). The Secretariat of the CPT forms part of the Council of Europe's Directorate General of Human Rights."
Budget of the Council of Europe
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: 47 Member States of the Council of Europe
Thematic focus: prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons deprived of their freedom
CPT visits places of detention, like prisons and juvenile detention centres, police stations and holding centres for immigration detainees, but also psychiatric hospitals)
"Visits are carried out by delegations, usually of two or more CPT members, accompanied by members of the Committee's Secretariat and, if necessary, by experts and interpreters. The member elected in respect of the country being visited does not join the delegation. [...]
Under the Convention, CPT delegations have unlimited access to places of detention and the right to move inside such places without restriction. They interview persons deprived of their liberty in private and communicate freely with anyone who can provide information.
The recommendations which the CPT may formulate on the basis of facts found during the visit, are included in a report which is sent to the State concerned. This report is the starting point for an ongoing dialogue with the State concerned. [...]
The CPT has two guiding principles - co-operation and confidentiality. Co-operation with the national authority is at the heart of the Convention, since the aim is to protect persons deprived of their liberty rather than to condemn States for abuses. The Committee therefore meets in camera and its reports are strictly confidential. Nevertheless, if a country fails to co-operate or refuses to improve the situation in the light of the Committee's recommendations, the CPT may decide to make a public statement.
Of course, the State itself may request publication of the Committee's report, together with its comments. In addition, the CPT draws up a general report on its activities every year, which is made public. [...]
Over its years of activity in the field, the CPT has developed standards relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. These standards have been published in the brochure "The CPT standards"."
Annual General Reports; State Reports are prepared after periodical visits
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