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Overview of anti-torture legislation in Latin America and the Caribbean

The CTI is pleased to share a new tool providing an overview of anti-torture legislation covering 14 Caribbean and 17 Latin American States. The new tool was kindly compiled by our strategic partner, the Association for the Prevention of Torture and complements and updates sections of the APT-CTI Guide on Anti-Torture Legislation, released in 2016. The new tool is a rich exploration of legislative practices in this region, reflecting different legal systems and traditions (civil and common law). The tool was produced for the CTI’s regional seminar on “Implementing the UN Convention against Torture in Latin America and the Caribbean: Sharing experiences of national legislative and institutional frameworks” which was held in Santiago, Chile, on 5-6 April 2017, and has been updated to reflect some important developments in the region.

 

Topics discussed in this tool are divided into thematic chapters and include the definition of the crime of torture, modes of liability, gender approaches, penalties, the non-admission of evidence obtained through torture, and the right to redress and reparation, amnesties and statutes of limitations.

 

The tool provides an overview of States’ key existing efforts to guarantee the prohibition against torture legislations are incorporated into their national systems, highlighting:

  1.  12 out of 14 States in the Caribbean have explicitly expressed the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment in their national constitutions, while 10 of the 17 Latin American States took measures to ensure the right to freedom from torture and ill-treatment in their national constitutions; and
  2. 5 States in Latin America and the Caribbean enacted specific anti-torture laws in their legislation, while 13 States in Latin America and one in the Caribbean amended their Criminal Codes to include torture as a specific crime.

 

The tool is intended to guide and provide other States – both inside and outside the region – and other relevant stakeholders with valuable examples of legislative and institutional frameworks in the region.


The overview is available in English and Spanish.