The Committee was established on the basis of Article 17 of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee inspects the performance of the obligations arising from the Convention by state parties. All state parties are obliged to submit reports on the measures taken to perform the above obligations on a regular basis, i.e. within one year of joining the Convention and later after every four years. The Committee may also request additional reports. The Committee reviews the reports and may make general remarks which the state party may comment on. See the reports of Estonia on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to reports, the Committee against Torture may also resolve the complaints of people under certain conditions (if the state party has made the relevant declaration on the basis of Art 22 of the Convention) as well as initiate investigations on its own initiative (Art 20 of the Convention) and resolve complaints between state parties (Art 21 of the Convention). The Committee also makes general comments on the interpretation of the Convention.
The Subcommittee was established on the basis of Article 2 of the Optional Protocol of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Its main duty is to visit detention facilities in state parties. Based on the visits, the Subcommittee may make proposals to the state parties about the protection of detainees against mistreatment. The Protocol also stipulates the Subcommittee’s duty to advise and help state parties and their preventive mechanisms to make the protection of detainees more efficient. See the reports on state visits on the SPT website.
The UN Human Rights Committee decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur with its resolution no. 1985/33 to investigate issues related to torture. The activities of the Special Rapporteur cover all countries irrespective of whether they have ratified the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The main task of the Rapporteur is to draw the attention of states to cases of torture that have become known to him or her, make recommendations to states and submit reports on his or her activities. The Special Rapporteur may also go on state visits if necessary.
- European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
The Committee was established on the basis of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Its main duty is to visit detention facilities in state parties. The Committee sends a detailed report to the relevant country after each visit. The report contains the Committee’s observations and recommendations, comments and information requests. See the reports prepared about Estonia on the CPT website.
The Association was established on the basis of Swiss law and its main duty is to help governments, judicial authorities, human rights organisations and civil associations to implement measures for the prevention of torture and other mistreatment. For this purpose, the Association organises training, gives legal advice, prepares analyses and guidelines, organises information exchange, etc.