A UN committee of experts has called on UN member states to act on their commitments to eradicate torture, the United Nations reported.
“While an impressive international legal framework has been developed to prevent torture and other types of inhumane treatment or punishment, there are still too many States where this practice continues,” the UN said on its website on Tuesday.
“We have not yet achieved a world free from torture, but we believe that this goal is achievable,” the chairman of the UN Committee against Torture told the General Assembly during his presentation of the Committee’s annual report.
Claudio Grossman added that “rights and duties need to be taken seriously, and that supervisory organs with independent experts are an essential component to achieving that goal.”
The Committee against Torture consists of 10 independent experts tasked with preventing torture and monitoring the measures taken by States party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The Convention, which entered into force in 1987, stipulates that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
It also requires States party to the Convention to refrain from deporting people to countries where they would face the risk of torture, and obliges the States to extradite or prosecute those guilty of torture.
A total of 153 out of the 193 UN Member States have ratified or joined the Convention.