What has Covid-19 got to do with torture? New CTI advisory note explains!

While States around the world are managing the serious health, social and economic effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, CTI releases a short document providing advice on the applicability and benefits of implementing the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) to this situation.

Covid-19 and UNCAT banner
Covid-19 and UNCAT Advice document

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, States around the world have been required to take a number of extraordinary measures to manage their national responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and mitigate the risk of contagion. Such measures have had an impact on various facets of our daily lives, and have often involved restrictions to freedom of movement, peaceful assembly, personal liberty, and daily social and economic activities. All these areas intersect with the application of human rights and some are also linked to the UN Convention against Torture. Despite the exceptional situation, the prohibition against torture and ill-treatment remains fully applicable and no derogation is permitted.

In managing these risks, many good State practices have emerged, and important advice has been issued by several agencies of the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and special procedures, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders. CTI’s advisory note compiles several examples of positive practices introduced by States and refers readers to key practical resources issued over in 2020, clustered under six thematic areas related to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and the applicability of the UN Convention against Torture. They include:

  • Treaty ratification/accession by e-mail;
  • Prison conditions and treatment of persons deprived of liberty;
  • Other places of deprivation of liberty or confinement;
  • Enforcing lockdown and quarantine measures humanely;
  • Special care for victims of torture;
  • Independent oversight and monitoring.

For more information, read the advice note here.

For States interested in how CTI can offer technical assistance and advice for ratification and/or implementation of UNCAT, please contact advicehub@cti2024.org. For general queries, you can e-mail the CTI Secretariat at info@cti2024.org.

Need Advice?

The CTI’s expert team provides one-on-one technical advice to governments and national institutions responding confidentially to technical queries on a wide range of issues.