Sir Malcolm Evans heads up UN torture prevention body's first visit to Mongolia
Press release issued: 13 September 2017
GENEVA (7 September 2017) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to make its first visit to Mongolia from 11 to 20 September to assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the safeguards for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.
Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are: prisons, police stations, detention facilities for women and juveniles and psychiatric hospitals. The experts will meet government officials, the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, and representatives of civil society to seek ways of strengthening the authorities’ efforts to prevent and eliminate torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees.
"During the visit we will get first-hand knowledge of the situation of those deprived of their liberty in Mongolia," said Sir Malcolm Evans who will head the SPT delegation. “We will also assist the authorities in the full implementation of their treaty obligations, including the establishment of a national independent body to monitor all places of detention.”
The SPT has a mandate to visit all States that are parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). States parties are obliged to set up a monitoring body, known as a national preventive mechanism (NPM), within a year of ratifying OPCAT. Although Mongolia ratified OPCAT in February 2015, the NPM is yet to be established.
At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Mongolia. For the SPT, the key to preventing torture and ill-treatment lies in building constructive relations with the State concerned, and its guiding principles are cooperation and confidentiality.
The SPT delegation will comprise: Sir Malcolm Evans (Head of Delegation), Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah, Marija Definis-Gojanovic, Kosta Mitrovic, Margarete Osterfeld, and Victor Zaharia.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has, to date, been ratified by 83 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to States by means of a confidential report and, if necessary, to national preventive mechanisms. The SPT work is guided by the principles of confidentiality and cooperation.
The SPT is composed of 25 independent and impartial experts from different regions of the world. For more information please go here.