Chile - OPCAT Situation

OPCAT Status

OPCAT ratification date
UNCAT ratification Date
NPM Type

National Human Rights Commission

NPM Designated

National Human Rights Institute (Instituto Nacional de Derechos Humanos)

Chile ratified the OPCAT in December 2008 and one year later, in December 2009, the Chilean government sent a letter to the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) to inform about its decision to designate the newly established National Human Rights Institute (NHRI) as National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). This decision, however, was not followed by any additional measures to allow the Institute to assume the new NPM function. The NPM powers were not foreseen in the founding legislation of the NHRI as this legislation was adopted prior to the decision to designate it as NPM.

Discussions to define the legal basis, structure and budget of the NPM began in 2012, but the legislative process to designate the NHRI as the NPM began only in 2017, when the bill of law designating the NHRI as NPM was introduced to the Congress by the President of the Republic. The law 21.154 designating the NHRI as NPM was finally adopted in January 2019 and entered into force in April 2019. 

The NHRI established a new and autonomous Committee for the Prevention of Torture, attached to the NHRI, to perform the NPM mandate. The NPM is operational since May 2020.

The SPT member who is the SPT Focal Point for Chile is available here.

NPM Structure

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture is a new autonomous structure attached to the NHRI. This Committee is composed of seven experts selected through public competition and in a gradual manner, over the first 18 months since the law came into force.

The Committee also comprises a Secretary and staff.

Annual reports

The NHRI produces an annual report, to be presented to the President of the Republic, the Congress and the President of the Supreme Court. The annual reports are available here.