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United Kingdom - OPCAT Situation

Updated 08.08.2017

The United Kingdom has been one of the strongest supporters of the OPCAT internationally. It ratified the OPCAT in December 2003 and designated 18 existing oversight bodies as the UK’s NPM through a ministerial statement to the Parliament in March 2009. In December 2013, a further written ministerial statement was issued to correct the title of one body and add two institutions to the UK's NPM. In January 2016, another institution was appointed as member of the NPM through written ministerial statement.

The NPM is currently composed of 21 institutions.Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) acts as the coordinating body of the UK’s NPM. Each designated institution has a specific thematic mandate under the OPCAT.The government also extended the NPM mandate to the Isle of Man, a British Crown Dependency, and is looking to designate the organisations responsible as additional members of the NPM.

The SPT member Mari Amos is the SPT Focal Point for the United Kingdom.

Further information is also available on the website of the University of Bristol’s Human Rights Implementation Centre (UK NPM Database).




Keywords: Other text
Opcat status
OPCAT Ratification December 10, 2003
OPCAT Ratification comment

On 24 February 2014, the UK extended OPCAT ratification to the territory of the Isle of Man

UNCAT Ratification December 8, 1988
SPT Member Mr. Malcolm Evans (2009-2016; 2017-2020)
NPM Designated

21 bodies were designated as part of the UK NPM, coordinated by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons - Click for a complete list

NPM Type

Multiple Institutions

NPM Legal Framework

Ministerial Statement (3 December 2013)

Ministerial Statement (March 2009)

Population 63 742 977
Area (sq km) 243 610
Number of prisons 121
Prison population 85 902
Federal Structure The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic, parliamentary government. It is not a federal State but it has a significantly decentralised administrative structure in respect of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Quick links

CPT: Visit report (March-April 2016) and report of visit to Gibraltar (November 2014). Visit to Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus (news flash)

CAT: Concluding Observations (December 2004) and upcoming session in May 2013

UPR: Report of the Working Group (July 2012)

Commissioner for Human Rights (Council of Europe): Report (2004)

SPT: Official correspondence to the SPT on the designation of the NPM (17 June 2009). Official correspondence to the SPT on the designation of 3 additional bodies to the NPM (21 January 2014)