Committee against Torture: Colombia should ratify the OPCAT

Friday, May 22, 2015

Colombia must "ensure that all places of detention are subject to regular and independent inspections, including monitoring activities carried out by non-governmental organisations" and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

This strong recommendation was put forward by the UN Committee against Torture at its recent review of the current situation on torture and other ill-treatment in Colombia.

Colombia remains one of the few Latin American countries that has not ratified the Optional Protocol. The CAT highlighted the absence of a fully independent mechanism to inspect all places of detention, including police stations, detention centres for juveniles and psychiatric hospitals.

The fact that the Colombian government has a comprehensive legal framework and internal oversight mechanisms (such as the Ombudsman’s Office and the Procuraduría General de la Nación), has not been enough to address the long-standing penitentiary crisis, characterised by severe overcrowding and an alarming lack of adequate health care for persons deprived of liberty.

In a joint statement, the APT and Colombian and international organisations, urge the Colombian State to implement the recommendations of the Committee against Torture. This would demonstrate its strong determination to eradicate torture.

Read the statement