Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

This is an agreement that talks about eliminating torture and other bad treatments of human beings by governments around the world. This includes not only physical torture but also mental or psychological torture. It forces governments to stop, prevent, investigate and punish anyone who participates in torture of any kind. This agreement is based on other human rights agreements like the Universal Declaration and the Covenant on Civil and Political rights and the UN Charter that talk about the basic rights of people, their right to equality, freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Torture means to hurt someone in any way (mental or physical) on purpose. This could be done for the reason of forcing someone to give information, to punish, to intimidate or control someone. This does not include the pain or suffering from a decision that was made in court. An order from any kind of authority is not a reason for torture.


How does it work?

Under this Convention, governments have the responsibility to:

  • Take any and all action to prevent torture in their country in all situations. There are no exceptions to this rule, even when it comes to war.
  • Not send someone away to a place where they believe that person may be tortured
  • Make any act of torture and even trying to torture is to be made illegal and punishable by law
  • Make sure that they stop or prevent any torture on any territory where they have authority
  • Help in court with any cases about torture
  • Make sure that all military and other groups that are responsible for security or safety of others is properly trained and informed about stopping torture
  • Continue to review and improve their rules about interrogation and how they take action against and to prevent torture in all forms


What else do I need to know?

  • People who claim they have been tortured have the right to complain and have the proper people look at their case
  • Victims have the right to be compensated, to rehabilitation or any kind of fair help to make up for the torture
  • If the victim has died, then their dependents (children for example) have access to this compensation or any rehabilitation service
  • Anything that is said because of the torture cannot  be used in court except for what is said by the person accused of torturing
Spanish; Castilian
Year Published: