The risk of being tortured or ill-treated is higher at certain times during the period of a person’s detention and in certain situations:
- The initial period of arrest and police custody;
- During transfer from one place of detention to another;
- When persons deprived of their liberty are held out of contact with others, in particular incommunicado detention or solitary confinement.
The risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment exists within any closed facility; not only
- prisons and
- police stations, but also,
- psychiatric facilities,
- juvenile detention centres,
- immigration detention centres and
- transit zones in international ports.
Who is at risk of torture?
Any person could potentially be at risk. In general, however, disadvantaged and vulnerable groups within society – such as minority groups (racial, ethnic, religious or linguistic), women, minors, persons with disabilities, migrants, LGBTI persons, the homeless and the poor – commonly face a higher risk of torture and ill-treatment.
It is important to stress that no State is immune from the risk of torture and ill-treatment. As a result, there is always a need to be vigilant and to develop and implement effective preventive strategies.