The Torture Reporting Handbook
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 Table of Contents - Search - Part I: Preliminary Matters - Part II: Documenting Allegations - Part III: Responding to the Information Collected - Appendices

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Selected Abbreviations

Index of Tables

Glossary of Specialised Terms

Publishing Information, Contributors and Acknowledgements

Search

 

PART I - PRELIMINARY MATTERS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. HOW TO USE THIS HANDBOOK

2.1 Outline of core chapters

2.2 Terminology

2.3 Essential policy issues

3. SETTING THE CONTEXT

3.1 Introduction

3.2 What can you hope to achieve by reporting allegations of torture?

3.2.1 Draw attention to a situation/establish a pattern of violations

3.2.2 Seek positive changes in a general situation

3.2.3 Combat impunity

3.2.4 Seek a remedy for an individual victim

3.2.4.1 A finding of violation

3.2.4.2 Holding perpetrators to account

3.2.4.3 Reparation

3.2.4.4 Preventing the deportation of an individual to a country where he or she would be at risk of torture

3.3 What is torture?

3.3.1 Introduction

3.3.2 What does international law say about the meaning of torture?

3.3.3 What does this mean in practical terms?

3.3.3.1 Essential elements

3.3.3.2 Degree of suffering

3.3.4 Conclusion: what is torture?

3.4 How does torture happen?

3.4.1 Who are the perpetrators?

3.4.2 Who are the victims?

3.4.3 Where is torture most likely to occur?

3.4.4 When is torture most likely to occur?

3.5 In what contexts might you receive or obtain allegations of torture?

3.6 Can allegations be made against non-governmental actors?

3.6.1 Can action be taken under human rights law?

3.6.2 Do other types of law prohibiting torture apply to non-governmental actors?

3.6.2.1 International law of armed conflict

3.6.2.2 Crimes against humanity

3.6.2.3 National law

3.6.3 Conclusion: how can you use information alleging torture by non-governmental actors?

SUMMARY OF PART I

 

PART II - DOCUMENTING ALLEGATIONS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF DOCUMENTATION

2.1 Why do these principles matter?

2.2 What does good quality information consist of?

2.3 What can you do to maximise the accuracy and reliability of information?

3. INTERVIEWING THE PERSON ALLEGING TORTURE

3.1 Introduction

3.2 General considerations

3.3 Conducting the interview

3.3.1 Before you start

3.3.2 How should you begin the interview?

3.3.3 Should you keep notes of the interview?

3.3.4 By whom should the interview be conducted?

3.3.5 Are there any special considerations to keep in mind when using interpreters?

3.3.6 What can you do to make the interviewee feel more at ease?

3.3.7 How can you deal with people who are too afraid to talk?

3.3.8 Are there any special considerations to keep in mind when conducting interviews in prisons or other places of group custody?

3.3.9 How can you address the sensitivity of the subject-matter?

3.3.10 What can you do to maximise the reliability of information?

3.3.11 Are there any special gender considerations to take into account when selecting an interviewer or interview team?

3.3.12 Are there any special considerations to take into account when interviewing children?

4. INFORMATION WHICH SHOULD BE RECORDED

4.1 Model information

4.1.1 What kind of details do you need in order to answer these basic questions?

4.1.2 What can you do to obtain these details without influencing the content of the account?

4.2 Specific contexts

5. EVIDENCE

5.1 Medical evidence

5.1.1 Physical evidence

5.1.2 Psychological evidence

5.2 Statement of person making allegation

5.3 Witness evidence

5.4 Other types of evidence

SUMMARY OF PART II

 

PART III - RESPONDING TO THE INFORMATION COLLECTED

1. INTRODUCTION TO POSSIBLE COURSES OF ACTION

1.1 Action at the international level

1.1.1 Range of international procedures

1.1.1.1 Origin of the mechanism

1.1.1.2 Functions of the mechanism

1.1.2 How to select an international procedure

1.1.2.1 Availability: which mechanisms are open to you?

1.1.2.2 Suitability: which mechanisms are most suited to your objectives?

1.2 Action at the national level

1.2.1 Criminal proceedings

1.2.2 Civil proceedings

1.2.3 Administrative proceedings

1.2.4 Disciplinary proceedings

1.2.5 Asylum claims

1.2.6 Exceptional remedies

1.2.7 Other procedures

2. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INTERNATIONAL REPORTING MECHANISMS AND HOW TO USE THEM

2.1 What kind of general characteristics should your communication have?

2.1.1 Accessible

2.1.2 Balanced and Credible

2.1.3 Detailed

2.2 Submitting information to a body engaged in monitoring: what should your communication include?

2.2.1 Sending general information to a monitoring body

2.2.2 Sending an individual allegation to a monitoring body

2.3 Submitting information in the context of the state reporting procedure

2.3.1 How does the state reporting procedure work?

2.3.2 What can you achieve by submitting information in the context of the state reporting procedure?

2.3.3 What should an NGO report in the context of the state reporting procedure contain?

2.3.4 Practical tips for submitting information in the context of the state reporting procedure

2.4 Submitting information to a body engaged in fact-finding

2.4.1 Submitting information in advance of a fact-finding visit

2.4.2 Submitting information during a fact-finding visit

3. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INTERNATIONAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURES AND HOW TO USE THEM

3.1 What can you seek to achieve by using individual complaint procedures?

3.2 What kind of complaints can individual complaint procedures examine?

3.3 How do individual complaint procedures work?

3.3.1 Basic chronology

3.3.2 Admissibility

3.3.2.1 What is admissibility?

3.3.2.2 Why might a complaint be declared inadmissible?

3.3.3 Amicus curiae briefs/Third party interventions

3.3.4 Provisional measures

3.4 What should an application under an individual complaint procedure contain?

3.5 Practical tips for using individual complaint procedures

4. THE MECHANISMS AND PROCEDURES: UNITED NATIONS

4.1 Introduction to the United Nations system

4.2 Reporting mechanisms within the United Nations system

4.2.1 The United Nations Non-Treaty Procedures

4.2.1.1 The 1503 Procedure

4.2.1.1.1 How does the 1503 Procedure work?

4.2.1.1.2 What can you achieve by submitting information to the 1503 Procedure?

4.2.1.1.3 What should a communication to the 1503 Procedure contain?

4.2.1.1.4 Specific tips

4.2.1.2 The Special Procedures of the UN Commission on Human Rights

4.2.1.2.1 Thematic Rapporteurs and Working Groups

4.2.1.2.2 Special Rapporteur on Torture

4.2.1.2.3 Country Rapporteurs

4.2.2 The United Nations Treaty Bodies

4.2.2.1 Committee Against Torture

4.2.2.1.1 How does the Committee Against Torture work?

4.2.2.1.2 What can you achieve by submitting information to the Committee Against Torture?

4.2.2.1.3 What should a communication to the Committee Against Torture contain?

4.2.2.1.4 Specific tips

4.2.2.2 Human Rights Committee

4.2.2.2.1 How does the Human Rights Committee work?

4.2.2.2.2 Specific tips

4.2.2.3 Other Committees

4.2.2.3.1 Specific tips

4.3 Complaint procedures within the United Nations system

4.3.1 The Committee Against Torture

4.3.1.1 What kind of complaints can it examine?

4.3.1.2 What are the admissibility requirements?

4.3.1.3 Specific tips

4.3.2 Human Rights Committee

4.3.2.1 What are the admissibility requirements?

4.3.2.2 Specific tips

4.3.3 Other Committees

4.3.3.1 What are the admissibility requirements?

4.3.3.2 Specific tips

5. THE MECHANISMS AND PROCEDURES: REGIONAL

5.1 The European System

5.1.1 Reporting Mechanism: The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture

5.1.1.1 How does the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture work?

5.1.1.2 What can you achieve by submitting information to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture?

5.1.1.3 What should a communication to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture contain?

5.1.1.4 Specific tips

5.1.2 Complaint Procedure: The European Convention on Human Rights

5.1.2.1 What are the admissibility requirements?

5.1.2.2 What should your application contain?

5.1.2.3 Specific tips

5.2 The Inter-American System

5.2.1 Reporting Mechanism: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

5.2.1.1 How does the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights work?

5.2.1.2 What can you achieve by submitting information to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights?

5.2.1.3 What should a communication to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights contain?

5.2.2 Complaint Procedure: the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights

5.2.2.1 What can you achieve by using this procedure?

5.2.2.2 What kind of complaints can be examined?

5.2.2.3 What are the admissibility requirements?

5.2.2.4 Specific tips

5.3 The African System

5.3.1 Reporting Mechanisms

5.3.1.1 African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

5.3.1.1.1 Functions

5.3.1.1.2 Specific tips

5.3.1.2 Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa

5.3.2 Complaint Procedure: The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

5.3.2.1 What are the admissibility requirements?

5.3.2.2 Specific tips

5.4 Other Regions

6. COMPARATIVE EVALUATION TABLES OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROCEDURES

7. WHERE MIGHT YOU SEEK FURTHER HELP?

7.1 Why might you wish to seek further help?

7.2 Some specific sources of help

7.2.1 International Committee of the Red Cross

7.2.2 UN High Commissioner for Refugees

7.2.3 Field missions and visits

7.2.4 International and national or local NGOs, and other support organisations

7.2.5 UN Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture

7.2.6 Lobbying

SUMMARY OF PART III

 

APPENDICES

APPENDIX I - LIST OF RELEVANT INSTRUMENTS

APPENDIX II - CONTACT DETAILS AND OBTAINING FURTHER INFORMATION

APPENDIX III - STANDARD APPLICATION FORMS

APPENDIX IV - BODY DIAGRAMS

 

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 Table of Contents - Search - Part I: Preliminary Matters - Part II: Documenting Allegations - Part III: Responding to the Information Collected - Appendices
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