Monitoring places of detention – OPCAT

What is OPCAT?

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) is an International Treaty adopted by the United Nations in 2002 as a means to strengthen, in a very practical way, efforts to eradicate the practice of torture and other ill-treatment.

The Australian Government ratified the Optional Protocol in December 2017. In ratifying the Protocol, the Australian Government designated the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman to be the National Preventive Mechanism Coordinator. As the Coordinator, this Office is responsible for coordinating the state and territory National Preventive Mechanisms as well as being responsible for inspecting Commonwealth places of detention.

Read the Ombudsman’s speech to the 7th Annual Prisons Conference about ‘Implementing OPCAT in Australia’, in Melbourne, August 2018.