Supplement to the Multilateral Treaty Against Torture

The multilateral treaty against torture (Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment or “CAT”) has been examined.[1]


CAT also has a supplement (the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment). It created the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture with a mandate to visit places where persons are deprived of liberty in the States Parties. This Protocol also requires States parties to establish an independent national mechanism for the prevention of torture at the domestic level with a similar mandate to inspect places of detention. The Protocol’s purpose, as set forth in its Article 1, is to establish “a system of regular visits undertaken by independent international and national bodies to places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”[2]

The Protocol was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 18, 2002, and it entered into force on June 22, 2006.[3]

The Protocol, however, only has 61 States Parties (31.6% of U.N. members). The U.S. is not one of them. Here is the geographical breakdown of its States Parties:

  Yes No Total
Africa 11 36   47
Asia   6 45   51
Europe 26 19   45
Latin America/Caribbean 14 19   33
Middle East   4 11   15
North America   0   2     2
TOTAL 61 132 193

[1] See Post: The Multilateral Treaty Against Torture (Nov. 29, 2011).

[2]  U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Committee Against Torture,

[3] Id.

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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