“While the prohibition of torture may have originally applied primarily in the context of interrogation, punishment or intimidation of a detainee, the international community has begun to recognize that torture may also occur in other contexts.”
Psychiatric institutions are non-traditional places of deprivation of liberty that fall within the mandate of torture prevention bodies created under the OPCAT. The APT therefore decided to focus the third Jean-Jacques Gautier Symposium, held in Geneva on 6-7 September 2016, on the monitoring of psychiatric institutions. During two days, some 15 NPMs from all regions of the world and other monitoring bodies and experts discussed and exchanged on the challenges faced in addressing situations conducive to abuse and ill-treatment of persons held in psychiatric institutions, and examined existing standards applicable to involuntary commitment and treatment in such facilities.
The objective of the Symposium was for participants to develop a better understanding and knowledge of the risk factors faced by persons held in psychiatric institutions and for NPMs to strengthen cooperation with other actors in order to adapt strategies and working methods to address key issues related to this detention environment.