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Through the keyhole of a prison cell you can see a chair lit by a lamp.
Drawing from the illustrated story 'En finir avec l’impunité' by Shazeera Zawawi (Association for the Prevention of Torture), 2014. (© Shazeera Zawawi)

An action plan sets out how Switzerland supports the absolute and universal ban on torture and ill-treatment and encourages its implementation. It describes how Switzerland supports international monitoring and enforcement of the ban on torture and how it cooperates with other states, international organisations and NGOs.

FDFA Action Plan against Torture

Multifaceted commitment

Among other things, Switzerland works to ensure that as many states as possible ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT) and its optional protocol (OPCAT). The ratification and implementation of these agreements leads demonstrably to a reduction in torture.

Bilateral consultations and exchange of experts

Switzerland regularly discusses torture and ill-treatment in its bilateral consultations with other countries. It exchanges experts with selected countries in the areas of criminal justice, policing and monitoring bodies. The aim is to improve protection against torture and ill-treatment.

Right to redress and rehabilitation

Switzerland is committed to ensuring that victims of torture and ill-treatment obtain redress and access to rehabilitation in accordance with international law. It helps other countries to comply with international standards and develop appropriate mechanisms to fulfil their obligations.

Examples: Morocco and Tunisia

Switzerland helped to set up a mechanism for preventing torture in Morocco and Tunisia. In Tunisia it also supported the establishment of a care service where victims of torture can receive medical care and obtain social and legal advice.

Support for the UN special rapporteur on torture

Switzerland supports the UN special rapporteur on torture, providing him with qualified personnel and funding specific projects. The special rapporteur visits countries, makes recommendations and reports to the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. He also hears complaints from individuals.

Prevention of torture and ill-treatment in Switzerland

The Federal Constitution prohibits torture and any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Switzerland has ratified all the relevant international agreements.

The National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (NCPT) ensures through regular visits and dialogue with the authorities that the rights of persons in custody are respected. It visits prisons and institutions for the enforcement of measures and custodial sentences and accompanies deportation flights.

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture also regularly visits Switzerland.

National Commission for the Prevention of Torture

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture

Last update 20.04.2022

Contact

Peace and Human Rights Division

Bundesgasse 32
3003 Bern

Phone

+41 (0)58 462 30 50

Fax

+41 (0)58 463 89 22