The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations that entered into force in 1987. Its purpose is to prevent the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ill-treatment).
States that have signed up to the Convention against Torture are required to report to the UN on their progress towards implementing the treaty every four years. In May 2019, the UK was reviewed by the UN Committee against Torture as part of its sixth periodic review.
REDRESS coordinated and facilitated a joint civil society shadow report to the Committee against Torture to provide an alternative, fact-based view of the measures taken by the UK to implement its obligations under the Convention against Torture. We held in-person consultation events for civil society organisations across England and Wales as well as a call for written evidence throughout October 2018.
We worked on this project with help from organisations including: Children’s Rights Alliance England (CRAE), Children in Wales, Disability Rights UK, Liberty, and Freedom from Torture.
The shadow report
The shadow report covers a range of thematic areas which are relevant to the Convention, including:
- prisons, policing, armed forces and intelligence services (including investigations into allegations of torture overseas, counter-terrorism measures, arrest and detention conditions, training and personnel);
- asylum and migration (including asylum claims, detention of asylum seekers, ill-treatment in immigration removal centres, refoulement, extradition and diplomatic assurances and statelessness);
- health and social care (including preventing ill-treatment of patients receiving health care services, persons deprived of their liberty in mental health settings, use of restraint against people in health care settings, inquiries into child sexual abuse and exploitation);
- violence and abuse against women, ethnic, religious or sexual minorities and victims of trafficking and exploitation (including VAWG, human trafficking, hate crimes, migrant domestic workers and corporal punishment);
- legislative, administrative and judicial procedure (including compliance with the Convention, the impact of Brexit, access to justice).
We are grateful to have received information from the following organisations and individuals:
- Mr R W Ebley
- International Truth and Justice Project (confidential)
- Professor Gary Craig (University of Newcastle)
- Every Child Protected Against Trafficking
- Omega Research Foundation
- Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID)
- Elizabeth Bates (University of Oxford)
- Freedom from Torture and Room to Heal
- Jackie Jones (University of the West of England)
- Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
- Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (2 orgs)
- Medical Justice
- Helen Bamber
- Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group
- Human Trafficking Sector submission (42 organisations): Adavu, Aire Society, Anti-Slavery International, Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU), Anti Trafficking Monitoring Group, (ATMG), Ashiana, Black Country Women’s Aid, Caritas Bakhita House, Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery – St Mary’s University, Croydon Community Against Trafficking (CCAT), Dr Aidan McQuade OBE, Freedom United, Gary Craig Professor of Social Justice, Haven of Light (North Wales), Her Equality Rights and Autonomy (HERA), Hestia, Hope at Home, Hope for Justice, Housing for Women, Justice and Care, Kalayaan, National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, Nia Project, Palm Cove Society, Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership (PLASP), Rene Cassin, Robin Brierley Consultancy, Shiva Foundation, Stella’s Voice, Stop Slavery Today, Stronger Together, Tamar, The British Red Cross, The Jericho Foundation, The Medaille Trust, The Sophie Hayes Foundation, The Voice of Domestic Workers, West Midlands Anti Slavery Network, Widows Rights International, Women at the Well, Jackie Jones, Olallo House and ATAK.
- Women in Prison
- Prison Reform Trust
- Rene Cassin
- Black Country Women’s Aid
- Equality Now
- Jesuit Refugee Service
- London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign
- Disability Rights UK
- Asylum Matters
- Professor Katherine Brickell, Dr Laurie Parsons and Ms Nithya Natarajan
- Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children
- Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
- Refugee Women Connect
- Gypsy Traveller
- Howard League
- Age UK
- Centre for Secular space
- CRAE and Children in Wales
For further information please contact Josie Fathers at [email protected].