States Parties

All States Parties to the UN Convention against Torture can ratify or accede to the OPCAT. Above all, this requires political commitment to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

Becoming a party to the OPCAT does not involve any additional reporting to the UN or submitting periodic reports to the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT).

The obligations under the OPCAT are more of a practical nature. All States Parties must:

  • Establish an independent national detention monitoring body, called National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), within one year after ratification.
  • Open up all places of detention under its jurisdiction and control to external scrutiny by the NPM and the SPT.
  • Provide all relevant information to the NPM and the SPT; and fully cooperate with these national and international visiting bodies and facilitate contacts between them.
  • Allocate adequate resources to the NPM.
  • Consider the recommendations of the NPM and SPT and engage a dialogue with them on their implementation.
  • Publish the annual reports of the NPM.

States Parties to the OPCAT do not need to extend an invitation to the SPT in order to receive a visit: it is part of their obligations once they have ratified or acceded to the OPCAT.

Possibility to delay obligations

At the moment of the ratification, States have a possibility to defer for a maximum of three years either their national obligations to establish a NPM or their obligation to receive visits by the SPT. States cannot opt out from both the international and national obligation.

Financial assistance for implementation

There are opportunities for financial assistance for States to implement the OPCAT. Read more about the OPCAT Special Fund.


There are currently 88 States Parties to the OPCAT. For more information, check out our OPCAT Database.