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UN Convention Against Torture

Volume 636: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2018

The OPCAT, which the UK ratified in December 2003, requires states parties to establish a “National Preventive Mechanism” (NPM) to carry out visits to places of detention to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The Government established the independent UK NPM in March 2009, and extended its membership in December 2013, and in January 2017. The UK NPM is currently composed of 21 scrutiny bodies covering the whole of the UK, and prepares annual reports on its activities. It also has an independent website at:

Following previous practice, I have presented to Parliament the eight NPM annual report (Command Paper 9563). This report covers the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. I commend the important work that the NPM has carried out over this period and the NPM’s independent role in safeguarding the human rights of detainees across the UK. I also note the NPM’s observations around prisons, children in detention, police and court custody, immigration detention, and health and social care detentions.