European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

(ETS No. 126)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, on 26 November 1987.

Entry into force: 1 February 1989.

Summary of the treaty

The Convention provides for the setting up of an international committee empowered to visit all places where persons are deprived of their liberty by a public authority. The committee, composed of independent experts, may make recommendations and suggest improvements in order to strengthen, if necessary, the protection of persons visited from torture and from inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

This preventive, non-judicial machinery is an important addition to the system of protection already existing under the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 005).

The Convention has been amended by the provisions contained in its Protocols No. 1 (ETS No. 151) and No. 2 (ETS No. 152) as of the day of their entry into force, on 1 March 2002.