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Annual UN resolutions on torture


Thursday, June 16, 2011

The UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council annually adopt a resolution on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These resolutions are usually adopted by consensus, which means that no UN Member State, in the case of the UNGA resolution, and no UN Human Rights Council’s Member State, in the case of the HRC resolution, has opposed to these texts. The APT, through the UN & Legal Programme, is actively engaging with the relevant stakeholders in order to strengthen the text of these resolutions towards better protection against torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

The UN General Assembly’s resolution represents an important instrument reflecting the minimum baseline agreed by all Member States of the international community on issues related to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. The Human Rights Council’s resolution represents the views of the Member States to the main UN Human Rights organ. As such, they both shall be used by all relevant actors active in the fight against torture, in particular when dealing with States representatives.

The latest UNGA and HRC resolutions have been adopted in December 2010 and March 2011 respectively:

Resolution adopted without a vote by the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2010 (A/RES/65/205): Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

Resolution adopted without a vote by the UN Human Rights Council on 25 March 2011 (A/HRC/RES/16/23):  Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: mandate of the Special Rapporteur, available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

On 26 March 2010, the Human Rights Council adopted without a vote a key resolution on the role and responsibility of judges, prosecutors and lawyers with regard to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (A/HRC/RES/13/19), available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

Moreover, the UNGA also adopted, on 21 December 2010 and without a vote, important Rules on the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders, the so-called Bangkok Rules, available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

 

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