UN Sub-Committee for the Prevention of Torture

The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) is one of the United Nations mechanisms directed to the prevention of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. It started its work in February 2007.  The Protocol gives the SPT the right to visit all places of detention in those States and examine the treatment of people held there.

The Protocol also obliges States to set up independent national preventive mechanisms to examine the treatment of people in detention, make recommendations to government authorities to strengthen protection against torture and comment on existing or proposed legislation. The SPT assists and advises the national preventive mechanisms about ways to strengthen safeguards relating to detention and reinforce their powers and independence.

In order to synchronise standards, the ICC has supplemented its template Statement on Compliance with the Paris Principles with an optional section on NPM based on preliminary guidelines produced by the Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture (SPT).  The SPT is the international component, in coordination with NPMs, of the dual monitoring system created by the OPCAT.  Deepening of engagement between the SPT and the ICC SCA may be crucial if NHRIs are to consolidate a profile as NPMs.

Further information on the SPT can be found here.

Annual reports of the SPT are available here. The reports contain relevant information on national preventive mechanisms and country visits.