OPCAT: What we do

The APT is at the origin of the OPCAT. In 1977, Jean-Jacques Gautier founded the organisation to promote an international treaty which would establish a system of visits to places of detention. This idea  became a reality in the adoption of the OPCAT in 2002.

In the past, APT actively advocated for the OPCAT, participated in the negotiations, campaigned for its adoption and entry into force.

Today we work for the effective implementation of the treaty. We focus on:

  • advocating for OPCAT ratification;
  • supporting national processes on NPM designation;
  • assisting NPMs in their effective functioning; and
  • supporting and monitoring the work of the SPT.


We work with all national actors, such as authorities, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organisations and regional and UN bodies. We provide support in the following areas:

  • Legal and practical advice on draft NPM legislations;
  • Advice on establishment of effective NPMs;
  • Experience sharing through seminars, workshops and peer-to-peer exchanges;
  • Training and distance coaching to new NPMs on strategic development and detention monitoring methodology;
  • Submissions to UN treaty bodies and Universal Periodic Review on OPCAT developments in APT target countries;
  • Practical tools and publications in many languages;
  • Development of the work of the SPT, through direct contacts, involvement of its members and policy recommendations.