Germany - OPCAT Situation

OPCAT Status

OPCAT signature date
OPCAT ratification date
OPCAT ratification comment

Declaration under Article 24 of the OPCAT, Part IV

Uncat ratification Date
NPM Type

New Specialised Institution

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)

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 who is the SPT Focal Point for Germany is available here.

NPM Structure

The National Agency for the Prevention of Torture is composed of two institutions: the Federal Agency for the Prevention of Torture and and the Joint Commission of the Länder.

The Federal Agency monitors the facilities which fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Germany, namely detention facilities of the Federal Police, those of the Federal Armed Forces and the Customs. It is also responsible for monitoring forced returns flights.

The Joint Commission monitors facilities which fall under the jurisdiction of the federal states (Länder), which mainly refer to judicial, police and psychiatric facilities. These are the vast majority of places of detention in Germany.

The National Agency developed its rules of procedure.

Annual reports

Each year, the NPM submits an annual report to the Federal Government, the National Parliament, the Land governments and the Land parliaments. Annual reports are avaiable on the NPM's website.