Colombia should reconsider its position on OPCAT

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Colombia is the only country in Latin America to oppose ratification of the torture prevention treaty, OPCAT.  At the adoption of the final outcome of Colombia’s Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council the APT called upon the government to reconsider its negative position.

Following the review that took place last April, Colombia did not accept the recommendations to ratify OPCAT, made by 11 States. The government has repeatedly argued that existing internal and external mechanisms are sufficient to guarantee the rights of persons deprived of their liberty. However, the ongoing crisis of the penitentiary system, highlighted by the Ombudsman during the debate on 19 September 2013, needs to be addressed more effectively. As recognized by the government itself, existing mechanisms and measures taken so far have been both insufficient and inadequate to respond to the crisis. In such circumstances, there is a clear need for Colombia to ratify OPCAT and establish an independent national torture prevention body to monitor regularly all types of places of detention in the country.

APT’s Oral Statement, delivered on 19 September at the UN Human Rights Council.

Watch the full debate