Source description last updated: 20 January 2020
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CoE-CPT) has been established by the Council of Europe to monitor prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners in its member states according to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Coverage on ecoi.net:
Covered weekly on ecoi.net for countries of priorities A-C.
“The CPT’s full title is the ‘European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’. This highlights two important features: first, it is European in coverage, and second, it not only covers ‘torture’, but also a whole range of situations which could amount to ‘inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’”. (CoE-website: The CPT in brief, undated)
“The CPT organises visits to places of detention, in order to assess how persons deprived of their liberty are treated. These places include prisons, juvenile detention centres, police stations, holding centres for immigration detainees, psychiatric hospitals, social care homes, etc.” (CoE-website: The CPT in brief, undated)
“It is not for the Committee to perform any judicial functions; it is not its task to adjudge that violations of the relevant international instruments have been committed.” (CoE-CPT: European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Text of the Convention and Explanatory Report, 2002, p. 19,)
Council of Europe funds.
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: The 47 CoE member states (see CoE-website).
Thematic focus: Human rights of persons deprived of their liberty and compliance with international humanitarian law.
“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.
After each visit, the CPT sends a detailed report to the State concerned. This report includes the CPT’s findings, and its recommendations, comments and requests for information. The CPT also requests a detailed response to the issues raised in its report. These reports and responses form part of the ongoing dialogue with the States concerned. [...]
Visits are carried out by delegations, usually made up of several CPT members, accompanied by staff members of the Committee's Secretariat and, if necessary, by additional experts and interpreters.
CPT delegations carry out visits on a periodic basis (usually once every four years), but additional “ad hoc” visits are carried out when necessary.
The Committee must notify the State concerned that it intends to carry out a visit. After notification, the CPT delegation may go to any place where persons may be deprived of their liberty at any time and without notice. [...]
The principles of co-operation and confidentiality are embodied in the international agreement (“Convention”) which establishes the CPT. [...]
The State itself may request publication of the CPT’s report, together with its own response. So far, most States have chosen to publish these documents.
If a State fails to co-operate or refuses to improve the situation in the light of the CPT's recommendations, the Committee may decide to make a ‘public statement’.
In addition, the CPT draws up a ‘General Report’ on its activities, which is published once a year.” (CoE-website: The CPT in brief, undated)
Languages of publication:
English, most reports are also available in French.
European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Text of the Convention and Explanatory Report, 2002
All links accessed 6 December 2019.