All persons deprived of their liberty – in prison, police detention, psychiatric hospitals, immigration detention centres etc. – are at risk of human rights violations.
The possibilities for persons deprived of their liberty to influence their own fate are limited, if not non-existent. In such situations, there is an inherent risk of abuse.
Independent monitoring visits, in particular by National Preventive Mechanisms, aim to reduce and mitigate these risks. They can make sure that detaining authorities are aware of and restrict risky practices, such as solitary confinement and disciplinary sanctions. They can also address the specific situations of vulnerability of certain groups, such as women, children, migrants and LGBTI persons.