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Domestication and Implementation Package B The duty to prevent torture and other ill treatment © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Introduction This DIP focuses on the measures States should take to prevent torture and other ill treatment, in order to comply with international law Main sources: – Articles 2(1), 16, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of UNCAT – Part II of RIG © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
UNCAT obligation to prevent State Parties have an obligation to: take ‘effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under [their] jurisdiction’ (article 2(1) UNCAT) to prevent other forms of ill treatment in any territory under its jurisdiction committed by or at the instigation, consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity (article 16 (1) UNCAT) © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
The duty to prevent torture and other ill treatment Duty to prevent goes hand in hand with duty to prohibit Efforts to eradicate torture and other ill treatment “should first and foremost be focused on prevention” Measures to prevent torture also apply to other forms of ill treatment Effective prevention requires a range of measures © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Systematically review interrogation rules, instructions and practices Article 11 UNCAT Investigative stage - people most at risk of abuse Expressly applies to torture and other forms of ill treatment Necessary to ensure legislative framework and national policies offer effective protection Crucial to review how rules and procedures are implemented in practice Should be regular as well as ad hoc reviews during times of crisis Linked to obligation to train © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
What should be reviewed? Safeguards in place for people deprived of their liberty, e.g.: – Constitutional provisions – Legislation e.g. penal codes; laws concerning conduct of police, military; rights of women, children, refugees, foreigners; mental health – Regulations on conduct of law enforcement and other personnel – Codes of conduct and ethics – Legislation prohibiting or restricting certain equipment – Conduct in practice, including use of equipment © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
What is the purpose of a review? Must be capable of identifying: – any legislative or regulatory changes needed to protect people – any conduct that may be contrary to national or international law – any training required to inform and sensitise relevant personnel © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Prevent and prohibit excessive use of force UN Standards require that: force should only be used when strictly necessary should be proportionate to a legitimate aim firearms should not be used except as an extreme measure © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Prison Officers and use of force UN Standard Minimum Rules state that prison officers shall not use force except: – in self-defence – in the case of attempted escape – in the case of someone physically resisting an order When force is used it must be no more than strictly necessary and officers must report it immediately to the Director © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Prohibit and monitor certain equipment States should prohibit and prevent the use, production and trade of equipment designed for torture and other ill treatment such as: – body worn electric shock devices, spiked batons, irons and chains, wall and floor handcuffs, thumb cuffs and thumb screws States must ban the abuse of equipment or substances that can be misused for torture or ill treatment © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Monitoring places of detention and treatment of detainees Regular monitoring of places of detention and treatment of detainees is one of the most effective ways to prevent torture and other ill treatment Ratification of OPCAT considered to be one of the most effective measures State Parties can take to prevent torture and other ill treatment © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Minimum guarantees for monitoring to be effective Independent All places of detention must be monitored Regular and unannounced visits Access to all relevant information Interviews with all relevant people Visits insufficient on their own Recommendations must be made aimed at preventing torture and other ill treatment © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Train staff and raise awareness Article 10 UNCAT Who should receive training? – Law enforcement personnel: civil or military – Medical personnel – Public officials: includes private security companies – “other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment” of any detainee © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
What should be included in training? Should know and understand the UNCAT Absolute prohibition of torture and other ill treatment under international law How to act professionally and in accordance with international law at all times Other relevant international and regional instruments Gender-specific issues Risks to vulnerable groups e.g. minority groups; foreigners Prohibition of equipment designed to inflict torture/ill treatment and ‘proper’ use of legitimate equipment © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
Raising awareness RIG 47 and 48 Public education initiatives are important preventive tools Must be aimed at all members of society States should carry out and support public awareness raising on human rights Language and other barriers should not limit the ‘right to know’ © The Article 5 Initiative, 2013
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