Volume: Volume 9(1) - 2005
Article type: Refereed article
Author/s: Fernandez, Lovell
Lovell Fernandez examines the implications for South Africa of ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, adopted by the United Nations in 2002. Having ratified the Convention in 1998, South Africa is obliged to prohibit torture through legislation.
However, the Optional Protocol provides a further important mechanism for combating torture, namely the establishment of National Visiting Mechanisms (NVMs). The NVM must have access to all information on persons deprived of their liberty and must regularly visit places where such people are detained. Existing oversight bodies in South Africa such as the Independent Complaints Directorate and the Human Rights Commission, the author concludes, would not fulfil the requirements arising from ratification as presently constituted. At the time of going to press South Africa had not yet signed the Optional Protocol.Click to view and download article