Eliminating or reducing torture and the ill-treatment of detainees

25 October 2013

An international framework for eliminating or reducing torture and the ill-treatment of detainees will be discussed by the Honourable Justice Goddard at a human rights forum on November 6.

She will talk about OPCAT (the United Nations Convention Against Torture and its Optional Protocol) and its preventive role in reducing risk factors and eliminating possible causes of torture and ill-treatment at both the national and international level.

The framework provides for regular, unannounced preventive visits to places of detention. This independent monitoring is one of the most effective ways of preventing torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The prohibition of torture in Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is complemented by the obligation to prevent torture.

Both principles are recognised in OPCAT, providing the sanction the highest status in international law.

Justice Goddard has played a leading role in implementing OPCAT at the national level in New Zealand and internationally through inspections of states which have ratified the framework.

In 2010 she was elected to the United Nations Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture, the only UN human rights Treaty Body that undertakes national visits and inspections.

Her address is presented by the New Zealand Centre of Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice, a specialist centre hosted by the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland.

Annual Human Rights Public Lecture - New Zealand Centre of Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice
Wednesday 6 November 2013 at 6pm
Old Government House
Corner Princes Street and Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland

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