2020 elections to the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture: time to present candidates

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The next elections of the members of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture will take place on 22 October 2020 and the current 90 States parties to the OPCAT will have the opportunity to present and elect the most competent candidates.

Elections represent an opportunity to strengthen the composition and expertise of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT). At the next SPT elections twelve members will be elected for a term of four years. The deadline for the nomination of candidates by OPCAT States parties is 18 August 2020.

With its 25 members, the SPT is the largest treaty body within the United Nations. The role of SPT members is also unique, as it is based on a preventive approach and it focuses on domestic implementation of the OPCAT. SPT members have the mandate to visit various types of places of detention in any State party to the treaty; interview persons deprived of their liberty; and provide advice to States and National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) on OPCAT implementation. SPT members are expected to maintain a constructive dialogue with State authorities and work constructively with NPMs, civil society and other relevant actors.

This complex and demanding mandate requires that SPT members possess a number of different competencies and specific skills. The APT has prepared a guidance note to assist State authorities, civil society and other stakeholders in identifying the most qualified candidates, following a public procedure at the national level.

Related content: 


Putting prevention into practice. 10 years on: the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture

External resources: 

UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture

Elections for the UN Subcommittee for Prevention of Torture

Staff members