Press Release

International Mechanisms Against Torture Agree To Elaborate Joint Report in Light of High Level of Non Compliance with their Recommendations

November 30, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Representatives of International Mechanisms against Torture of the United Nations System and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held a new meeting November 28-30 to coordinate their activities. In light of the high level of non-compliance with their recommendations by the States of the region, the mechanisms agreed to elaborate a joint report on prevention and prohibition of torture.

Representing the United Nations mechanisms, the meeting was attended by the Special Rapporteur against Torture, Juan Méndez; the President of the Committee against Torture, Mario Coriolano; as well as representatives of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights: the chief of the Americas Section, María Clara Martin; the chief of the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section, Vladlen Stefanov; the representative for South America, Amerigo Incalcaterra; and the representative for Central America, Carmen Rosa Villa. The Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, and the Executive Secretary, Santiago A. Canton, among others, participated representing the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The meeting took place in the IACHR headquarters, in Washington.

The meeting participants expressed their concern on the inadequate detention conditions in the countries of the region, the persistence of numerous cases of torture and ill-treatment, and the impunity that prevails in the majority of these cases. They observed that the recommendations issued in terms of prevention and prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, consistently and repeatedly, by the regional and universal mechanisms in the last few years, have a high level of non-compliance by the States.

In this regard, they talked about the importance of joining efforts and launching coordinated actions to promote a more effective implementation of the recommendations, in order to strengthen and support the States in their efforts to combat and eradicate torture. For the achievement of this goal, they agreed to elaborate a joint report, in consultation with the States, the national prevention mechanisms and the civil society organizations, to reiterate and strengthen the international obligations of the States in this matter.

The participant organizations call on the countries that have not done so to ratify the regional and international treaties related to the prohibition and prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and to establish, maintain or designate national mechanisms on the prevention of torture.

This is the second meeting held in the context of joint efforts of institutional cooperation between the inter-American and the United Nations mechanisms against torture. (See Press release 22/10 on the first meeting, held in March of 2011).

No. 124/11