National Preventive Mechanisms - Drafting effective annual reports: Briefing paper (2012)

The annual report represents an important communication tool for the National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs). This is recognised by the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), which provides for the obligations for States Parties to “publish and disseminate the annual reports of the national preventive mechanisms” (Article 23). This obligation is formulated as an obligation of the State Party rather than as an obligation of the NPM itself. However, the OPCAT text is silent in relation to the objectives, content and structure of the NPM annual reports. This paper attempts to fill this gap by setting out recommendations and practical advice on how to make the most out of an NPM annual report. They are inspired from published NPM annual reports, APT’s experience working with NPMs as well as SPT specific guidelines on NPMs