On the occasion of its visit to Mauritania in March 2008, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention encouraged Mauritania to accede to the OPCAT.
In its report to the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, Mauritania referred to the accession to the OPCAT and announced that "the country’s current priority was to fulfil the obligations it had assumed upon acceding to the Convention against Torture". During the examination of the report, several States ((France, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey) recommended Mauritania to ratify to the OPCAT and Mauritania responded that the government was "examining with great interest the requests that it accede to the (...) OPCAT".
Mauritania signed the OPCAT on 27 September 2011, demonstrating its interest in torture prevention.
On 12 January 2012, the Prime Minister Dr. Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf presented to the Parliament his 2011 report as well as his perspectives for 2012. He mentioned that Mauritania participated in the First Global Forum on the OPCAT in Geneva in November 2011, organised by the APT. He also underlined that OPCAT ratification was amongst the strategic priorities of the Human Rights Commission for 2011 – 2013 (see report of the Commission).
On 22 March 2012, the Council of Ministers approved the draft law on ratification of the OPCAT.
A week later, the opportunities to ratify the OPCAT were discussed during a seminar organised jointly by the APT and the Human Rights Commission of Mauritania. The need to establish an independent mechanism to monitor all places of detention was identified. It was also agreed that a broader and transparent consultation should take place to examine the implications of the ratification.
The APT was informed that after the National Assembly, the Senate approved the law on ratification of the OPCAT on 30 May 2012.
On 3 October 2012, Mauritania deposited the instrument of ratification of the OPCAT to the United Nations and became the 64th State Party to the OPCAT.