Treaty body candidates share torture prevention vision

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Candidates for theUN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT) have presented their vision and priorities for torture prevention in a ‘meet and greet’ dialogue with representatives from States and civil society organisations.

The online event, jointly organised for the second time by the APT and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), brought together approximately 60 participants.

The SPT is an operational body composed of 25 independent experts elected by State parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. It has a mandate to visit places of detention in States parties and to advise States and national preventive mechanisms (NPM) on torture prevention measures.

Elections to the SPT take place every two years to renew half the seats. Thecoming election, to be held on 20 October 2022, includes 17 candidates. There are 13 seats available.

Fifteen candidates participated in the event, including current SPT members who are seeking re-election.

The interactive dialogue allowed participants to ask questions of the candidates, including how the pandemic may have affected the SPT’s mandate. Candidates also reflected on the achievements of the OPCAT system, 20 years since its adoption.

“The SPT is an essential component of the OPCAT system,” said APT Secretary General Barbara Bernath, who noted that gender balance, regional diversity and variety of expertise should be a feature of SPT membership.

“This online dialogue contributes by bringing equality and transparency to the election process. All candidates are on an equal footing and can present for their personal vision and priorities,” Ms Bernath added.

You may watch the recording here.