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Germany - OPCAT Situation

Updated 20.12.2016

Germany ratified the OPCAT in 2008 with a Declaration under Article 24 (Part III) of the OPCAT, delaying the establishment of its National Preventive Mechanism.

After consultations with the different Länders, Germany decided to create new institutions as National Preventive Mechanisms: a Federal Agency for the Prevention of Torture (operational in 2009) and a Joint Commission for the Länder (operational in September 2010). Both institutions were finally merged into one institution: the National Agency for the Prevention of Torture.

The SPT conducted a NPM advisory visit to Germany in April 2013. Both the reports to the NPM and the State have been made public.

The SPT member Aisha Shujune Muhammad is the SPT Focal Point for Germany.

Opcat status
OPCAT Ratification December 4, 2008
OPCAT Ratification comment

Declaration under Article 24 of the OPCAT, Part IV

UNCAT Ratification October 1, 1990
SPT Member Ms. Margarete Osterfeld (2014-2016; 2017-2020)
NPM Designated

National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, comprising:

- Federal Agency for the Prevention of Torture (Bundesstelle zur Verhütung von Folter); and

- Joint Commission of the Länder (Länderkommission zur Verhütung von Folter)

NPM Type

New Specialised Institution

NPM Legal Framework

OPCAT Ratification Bill (2 September 2008) and Statutory Notice (20 November 2008, Federal Bulletin, Nr 182, S. 4277), Ministry of Justice, establishing the Federal NPM.

Inter-state treaty, 24 June 2009 establishing the federal states’ component of the NPM.

Population 82 422 299
Area (sq km) 357 021
Number of prisons 185
Prison population 70 103
Federal Structure Germany is divided into 16 federal states (Länder)
Quick links

SPT: NPM Advisory Visit (8-12 April 2013). Report to the NPM (October 2013). Report to the State (December 2013). Response from the German NPM (February 2014). Response from the State (February 2014)

Communication to the SPT: Official Correspondence from Germany (13 June 2009)

CAT: Concluding Observations (November 2011)

UPR: Report of the Working Group (February 2009)

CPT: Visit Report (November-December 2015)

Commissioner on Human Rights (Council of Europe): Report (2006)