Norway has today ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture. “Torture is unacceptable and nothing can justify its use. It is therefore vital that we support efforts to strengthen international rules relating to the prevention of torture,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
The objective of the Optional Protocol is to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by establishing a system of regular visits by independent bodies to places of detention, including prisons, police detention cells, psychiatric institutions and other places where people are deprived of their liberty.
The Parliamentary Ombudsman has been designated as the institution responsible for monitoring efforts to prevent torture in Norway. Prisons and other places of detention may also be visited by the UN’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.
The Optional Protocol was adopted on 18 December 2002, signed by Norway on 24 September 2003, and entered into force on 22 June 2006. Whereas 153 states are party to the Convention against Torture itself, only 68 are party to the Optional Protocol.