As part of its goal to support Governments in their efforts towards ratifying and implementing the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT, or Convention), CTI hosts Government delegations to undertake “study visits” in Geneva, Switzerland.
CTI’s study visits provide an opportunity for non-States-parties or newly ratified States to the Convention to learn about what being a State party entails, what steps are needed to ratify or accede to the Convention, and to prepare the groundwork for ratification/accession, implementation and reporting.
Our study visit and engagement with the CTI has been very enlightening and we leave Geneva with a sense of empowerment that will translate into action towards UNCAT ratification.
The Study Visit
Visits are tailored to the needs and wishes of the individual Government, and are not used to lobby or pressure States to ratify.
Visits are constructive (“no name, no shame”) and confidential. Any publicity regarding the visit is at the discretion of the visiting Government.
A typical UNCAT study visit consists of a mix of :
- Expert seminars on the Convention provisions.
- Meetings with the representatives of CTI spearheading States and CTI-friends to discuss benefits, opportunities and how to overcome challenges to ratification, implementation and/or reporting.
- An opportunity to “experience” a session of the Committee against Torture in their review of a State party report and the State party’s replies.
- Meetings with senior UN officials, including individual members of the Committee against Torture and representatives from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
- Briefing sessions with representatives of States who have had experience of ratifying/acceding, implementing and/or reporting.
We were very pleased with the study visit that CTI organised. Through a mix of seminars, meetings with high ranking UN officials and sharing experiences with countries that have also gone through the ratification process, we were able to understand fully the ratification process and build constructive relationships with many partners that can best assist us in our future deliberations on ratifying the Convention.
The Visiting Delegation
The composition of a delegation participating in a study visit is decided by the State in question, and would normally comprise 5-6 professionals involved in the State’s work related to preparing a decision for ratification or working in areas covered by the Convention.
This could involve representatives from, for example, foreign affairs, justice/legal affairs, police/law enforcement, the prisons service, human rights, national security; and/or the Attorney-General’s Office or Law Commission. At the discretion of the visiting Government, the delegation may include representatives of bar associations or the national human rights commission or other relevant stakeholders.
Download the CTI study visits one-pager here.
Interested to undertake a study visit? Please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org