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Preventing torture

The FCO published the Strategy for the Prevention of Torture 2011 to 2015 in October 2011.

There is an absolute prohibition on torture in international law. The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) is the main international treaty that specifically addresses torture. Under this convention, all states must act to prevent torture and ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. 147 countries have ratified UNCAT.

The UK signed the Convention in 1988. Jurisdiction (legal authority) must be established over cases of torture when committed in any territory under a state’s jurisdiction or where the offender is one of its nationals. The convention also requires states to prosecute individuals who are on their territory having committed an offence elsewhere.