Working since 1977 to Prevent Torture
Torture is one of the most serious violations of a person’s fundamental rights. It destroys their dignity, body and mind and has far-reaching effects on their family and community.
Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, its practice remains widespread, particularly in places out of public view.
Based on the idea that regular and unannounced visits to all places of detention are one of the most effective ways to prevent torture, Jean-Jacques Gautier set about developing a universal system for visiting places of detention. To achieve his vision, he founded the Swiss Committee against Torture which later became the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT). Since then, the APT has assumed a leading role in preventing torture worldwide
The APT is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) which envisions a world in which no one is subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The APT has been leading the international campaign for the adoption, entry into force and effective implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), an international legal instrument which seeks to open all places of detention to international and national scrutiny.
The APT’s multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team has expertise in training, providing legal advice, developing practical tools, facilitating exchanges and advocating for preventive measures and mechanisms. The APT is governed by an international Board that supervises, advises and participates in activities organised by the Secretariat in Geneva.