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Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT)
Mechanism of Operation

National Preventive Mechanisms       

The entry into force of the OPCAT in June 2006 established for the first time a double pillar of prevention of torture, based on an international body (the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture), and national visiting bodies, National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs). Both international and national bodies have the mandate to conduct regular visits to places of detention as well as to make recommendations and observations to the government and relevant authorities to improve the situation of the persons deprived of their liberty.

The OPCAT expressly requires that such NPMs be designated by the States parties, and details some of the basic powers and protections necessary for an NPM to be effective.  

The APT has developed an NPM Implementation Kit to assist governments and civil society. The Kit is available in printed and electronic form, and includes some specific guides:

Guide to Establishment and Designation of National Preventive Mechanisms

Guidance on legal, practical, and technical issues. Available in English, French, Macedonian, Nepali, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish.
A less-detailed brochure is available in German and Portuguese.

OPCAT Country Status (formerly NPM Country-by-Country Status Report)

Current information on NPM implementation in each state party or signatory to the OPCAT. English (Update January 2009)
Country-by-Country Status Report for Africa in French (Update June 2008).
Resumé of NPM processes in Latin American Countries Spanish
El proceso de designación del MNP en España - documentos relevantes


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