Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment



[Country-by-Country Reports]


U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity..

The Committee Against Torture (CAT) is the body of 10 independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its State parties.

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Convention and then every four years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations".

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture is a branch of Council of Europe which monitors the situation in prisons regarding the treatment of inmates and aims to expose cases of torture and degrading treatment by launching surprise visits.

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims IRCT is a health-based umbrella organisation that supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and the prevention of torture worldwide. Its members comprise more than 140 independent organisations in over 70 countries. Its work is governed by these member organisations. Today, it is the largest membership-based civil society organisation to work in the field of torture rehabilitation and prevention.

African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights with emphasis on the treatment and rehabilitation of survivors of torture by states, security agencies and armed groups.

Freedom House is a leading advocate of the world's young democracies, which are coping with the debilitating legacy of statism, dictatorship, and political repression. It conducts an array of U.S. and overseas research, advocacy, education, and training initiatives that promote human rights, democracy, free market economics, the rule of law, independent media, and U.S. engagement in international affairs.

Global Rights is a human rights advocacy group that partners with local activists to challenge injustice and amplify new voices within the global discourse. With offices in countries around the world, Global Rights helps local activists create just societies through proven strategies for effecting change.

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law. We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) was created in 1985, and is today the main coalition of international non-governmental organisations (NGO) fighting against torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances and all other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. With 311 affiliated organisations in its SOS-Torture Network and many tens of thousands correspondents in every country, OMCT is the most important network of non-governmental organisations working for the protection and the promotion of human rights in the world.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) works at the intersection of medicine, science, and law to secure justice and universal human rights for all. They investigate and document human rights violations, give voice to survivors and witnesses, and plant seeds of reconciliation by ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable for their crimes.

They believe that medical ethics are deeply bound to the protection of human rights. PHR uses their core disciplines science, medicine, forensics, and public health to inform their research and investigations and to strengthen the skills of frontline human rights defenders.

They work closely with hundreds of partners around the world, using facts to wage effective advocacy and campaigning and providing critical scientific evidence so that survivors can seek justice.