CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER
CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT
Adopted by resolution 39/46 of the United Nations General Assembly, 10 December 1984
II. AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLES 17(7) AND 18(5) OF THE CONVENTION
Adopted by the Conference of States Parties, 8 September 1992
III. OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
Adopted by resolution 57/199 of the United Nations General Assembly, 18 December 2002
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are prohibited by many national legislative acts and international instruments. The 1949 Geneva Conventions for the protection of victims of war (Nos. 49-52) and the Additional Protocols of 1977 (Nos. 56-57) prohibit torture and humiliating and degrading treatment. The international instruments of human rights, notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) stipulate that “no one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
By resolution 3452 (XXX) of 9 December 1975, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. On 8 December 1977, in resolution 32/62, it requested the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to draw up a draft convention in the light of the principles embodied in the Declaration. The Commission carried out the work of preparing the draft convention as a matter of highest priority at each of the annual sessions between 1979 and 1984. It entrusted this task to an open-ended working group. At its fortieth session, the Commission decided to transmit to the General Assembly the report of the working group containing the draft convention. The General Assembly adopted it by consensus, on 10 December 1984 (Resolution 39/46). The Convention was opened for signature at New York on 4 February 1985. It entered into force on 26 June 1987, after twenty states had ratified it.
On 9 January 1992, the Australian Government proposed amendments to Article 17(7) 18(5) of the Convention. In accordance with Article 29(1) of the Convention, the Secretary-General communicated the proposed amendments to the states parties with a request to notify him whether they favoured a conference of states parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the pro