Preventing and combating torture in South Africa: a framework for action under CAT and OPCAT
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This booklet aims to provide more information to decision-makers and stakeholders on the challenges relating to preventing and combating torture; and also outlines South Africa’s obligations under CAT and OPCAT. These two instruments are valuable resources in the quest to prevent and combat torture. This booklet is a rough guide to this task. It should be kept in mind that over the past 50 years there has been much research and writing produced on this subject, and for more detailed information there are many sources to consult; some of which are listed at the end of the booklet. The style of the booklet is one of question-and-answer; hopefully this will make what are often complicated issues more understandable and accessible. The first part of the booklet deals with torture and CAT, focusing on the definition of torture, the crime of torture, the obligations under CAT and the role of civil society in the work of the UN Committee against Torture. In CAT the emphasis is on criminalisation, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators. OPCAT on the other hand, which is dealt with in the second part of the booklet, places emphasis on prevention. The importance of visits as a preventive measure, obligations under OPCAT and possible steps to take OPCAT forward are dealt with.