Preventing Torture through Istanbul Protocol

The Istanbul Protocol

The Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in popular terms “the Istanbul Protocol”, contains internationally recognised standards and procedures on how to recognise and document symptoms of torture so the documentation may serve as valid evidence in court.

As such, the Istanbul Protocol provides useful guidance for doctors and lawyers who want to investigate whether or not a person has been tortured and report the findings to the judiciary and any other investigative bodies.

The Istanbul Protocol is a non-binding document. However, international law obliges governments to investigate and document incidents of torture and other forms of ill-treatment and to punish those responsible in a comprehensive, effective, prompt and impartial manner. The Istanbul Protocol is a tool for doing this.

Background

The Istanbul Protocol was drafted by more than 75 experts in law, health and human rights during three years of collective effort involving more than 40 different organisations including the IRCT. The extensive work was initiated and coordinated by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) and the Physicians for Human Rights USA (PHR USA).

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National Campain on Torture eradication and OPCAT implementation

Opening places of detention to external control mechanisms, as the Optional Protocol does, is one of the most effective means to prevent abusive practices and to improve conditions of detention.

 Based on the purpose of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter OPCAT) to establish a system of regular visits undertaken by independent bodies to places of detention, ARCT maintained collaboration and support to the newly established Albanian NPM, enhancing its capacities and impact in the moment where the People’s Advocate was absent due to political instabilities in electing the new People’s Advocate (from early 2010 – until December 2011), through:

 oInstitutionalizing the partnership through written agreements 

  1. oProviding professional mental health support/ expertise during the regular and unannounced monitoring visits (ARCT multidisciplinary team of experts: general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologist, social workers, lawyers and human rights experts were part of joint monitoring visits).
  2. oSupporting the Albanian NPM in producing and publishing its Activity Report since its establishment (special number of the ARCT Journal, published in Albanian and English was dedicated to the issue of Albanian NPM performance and achievements)[1]. The NPM activity report was presented to the member of the SPT.
  3. oPromoting a unified methodology in performing monitoring visits, including

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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – 26 June

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture- 26 JUNE

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed on June 26 to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable – it is also a crime.

The UN's International Day in Support of Victims of Torture serves as a reminder to people that human torture is a crime.

Rehabilitation centers and human rights organizations around the world celebrate the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26 each year. The day serves as a reminder to people that torture is a crime. This event gives everyone a chance to unite and voice their opinions against human torture.

Civil Society Organizations have played an active role in organizing events around the world to promote the day. Activities may include: photo exhibitions; the distribution of posters and other material to boost people’s awareness of issues related to human torture; and television advertisements.

ARCT is the first organization in Albania launching the National Campaign “Albania without TORTURE” (2007).

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