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Switzerland - OPCAT Situation

Updated 08.08.2017

Even though Switzerland signed the OPCAT in 2004, the ratification and implementation law was adopted by the Parliament five years later, following consultations with local entities on the structure of the future NPM.

Switzerland decided to establish a new body, through the means of legislation: the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture. It is composed of 12 members, who are not working full-time, and is assisted by a Secretariat.

The SPT member Abdellah Ounnir is the SPT Focal Point for Switzerland.

Opcat status
OPCAT Ratification September 24, 2009
UNCAT Ratification December 2, 1986
SPT Member Mr Hans-Jörg Victor Bannwart (2013-2016; 2017-2020)
NPM Designated

National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (Commission nationale pour la prévention de la torture)

NPM Type

New Specialised Institution

NPM Legal Framework

OPCAT Implementation and Ratification Law (20 March 2009), only available in French

Population 8 061 516
Area (sq km) 41 277
Number of prisons 110
Prison population 7 072
Federal Structure Switzerland is a federal state composed of 26 cantons.
Quick links

Communication to the SPT: Official Correspondence from Switzerland (9 April 2010)

CAT: Concluding Observations (May 2005)

UPR: Draft Report of the Working Group (October 2012)

CPT: Visit Report (April 2015)

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