Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) - Implementation in Switzerland
Adopted on 18 December 2002
Entry into force on 22 Juin 2006
Ratified by 72 States (as at 27 May 2014; current count)
- General information on the OPCAT
On the treaty
By ratifying the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, the signatory states commit themselves to grant to the UN Subcommittee unlimited access to all places where persons are living in a state of imprisonment. In addition, the states have to create an independent national commission to preventively assure that no cases of torture or the like occur in any prison or other detention centre.
Implementation of the Treaty in Switzerland
In March 2009, the parliament approved the ratification of the Treaty and passed a federal act providing for a corresponding commission and regulating its competences. It is granted access to all places and institutions of detention and can visit them without prior notice. It can talk in detail to detained persons and everyone else who can give relevant information without any further witness. Detention of a person implies any kind of confinement in a public or private institution which cannot be left at one's own will.
On 21 October, the Federal Council has appointed the Commission for the Prevention of Torture composed of twelve members from the medicinal and legal fields as well as from the criminal prosecution and penal system sectors which are appointed for four years. From an administrative point of view, the Commission is part of the Federal Department of Jutice and Police (FDJP)
- Website of the National commission for the prevention of torture
- Federal Act on the Commission for the Prevention of Torture of 20 March 2009
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