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Combating Torture and Other Ill-Treatment

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Contents* Foreword by Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.* Chapter 1 outlines the key events in international efforts to tackle torture and other ill-treatment worldwide and main activities by Amnesty International to combat these forms of abuse over the years. It also introduces the main international and regional bodies and mechanisms concerned with torture and other ill-treatment. It explains why there is a continuing need for robust action globally to tackle torture and other ill-treatment.* Chapter 2 explains the nature and scope of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law. It details the numerous international and regional standards that have emerged to prohibit these forms of abuse, as well as the definitions of torture and other ill-treatment that exist. It considers specific forms of torture and other ill-treatment such as the death penalty, judicial and administrative corporal punishment. It looks at issues of particular concern such as gender-based violence and the link between discrimination, poverty, torture and other ill-treatment. It considers the issue of when non-state (private) actors violate the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. * Chapter 3 sets out the numerous safeguards under international law and standards which have been developed to protect and prevent people deprived of their liberty from being tortured and otherwise ill-treated. It looks not only at safeguards for people detained within the context of the criminal justice system but also other forms of deprivation of liberty such as administrative detention, detention on immigration grounds or due to mental health issues, as well as detention during times of armed conflict. It considers the use of force in law enforcement, as well as torture and other ill-treatment within law enforcement, military and security services. * Chapter 4 examines the right of persons deprived of their liberty to be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. It details the numerous international standards relating to conditions of detention and the measures that need to be taken to provide humane conditions. It looks at both the physical and psychological aspects of the treatment of detainees, including the standards and procedures concerning discipline and security. * Chapter 5 considers the obligation of states to prevent torture and other ill-treatment. It examines the role of international, regional and national mechanisms that have been established to promote, ensure and enforce the prevention of torture and other ill-treatment. It also emphasizes the important role that national actors such as national human rights institutions, national preventive mechanisms, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, the judiciary, lawyers and health professionals can play in preventing these forms of abuse. * Chapter 6 looks at efforts to hold states and individuals accountable for acts of torture and other ill-treatment under international law. It sets out the obligations for states to investigate allegations, bring those responsible to justice and provide reparation treatment to victims. It also considers the role played by the UN, regional treaty bodies and human rights courts when no national efforts are made to bring perpetrators to account, or when national efforts fail. Lastly it looks at the role of the International Criminal Court and ad hoc international and internationalized criminal tribunals in holding individuals accountable for acts of torture and other ill-treatment* Chapter 7 suggests forms of action to combat torture and other ill-treatment. It draws upon a range of strategies and actions taken by Amnesty International and other human rights defenders working towards a world without torture and ill-treatment.

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