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26 Jun 2016 by Ludwig Boltzmann

26 June – International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Torture and ill-treatment are universally and absolutely prohibited and to date 159 States have ratified the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), aimed at eradicating such practices. However there is a serious gap in implementing the CAT and torture and other forms of ill-treatment remain a worrisome problem today in the majority of the world.

Therefore, on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) is pleased to announce the start of the new project ‘Revision of the Commentary to the UN Convention Against Torture’. Under the leadership of Prof. Manfred Nowak, a team of experienced researchers are working on a revised edition of the CAT Commentary to be published with Oxford University Press. The new edition shall provide researchers and practitioners worldwide with a comprehensive and up-to-date guidance on the interpretation of State obligations contained in the CAT and its Optional Protocol (OPCAT). Thereby the research hopes to contribute to the efforts of States and civil society organisations to prevent torture and ill-treatment.

The OPCAT, entered into force 10 years ago and establishing a system of preventive monitoring of places of detention, can play an especially important role in this regard. Therefore the Institute has participated in a joint civil society statement urging States to promote its universal ratification, establish effective and independent National Preventive Mechanisms, and implement their recommendations to reduce the risks of torture and ill-treatment.

For more information on the Institute’s efforts to prevent torture and ill-treatment through research and technical assistance, please visit the website of the Team Human Dignity and Public Security.

a. Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Source: OHCHR