Committee against Torture issues concluding observations on Country reports examined during forty-sixth session

Committee against Torture
ROUNDUP

6 June 2011

Issues Concluding Observations on Reports of Finland, Ghana, Ireland, Kuwait, Mauritius, Monaco, Slovenia and Turkmenistan

The Committee against Torture issued its concluding observations and recommendations on reports from Finland, Ghana, Ireland, Kuwait, Mauritius, Monaco, Slovenia and Turkmenistan, which it reviewed during its forty-sixth session, held from 9 May to 3 June in Geneva.

All the countries reviewed are among the 147 States parties to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and are bound by the terms of the treaty to submit periodic reports on efforts to ensure that such human rights violations do not occur on their territories. The consideration of reports takes the form of a dialogue between the delegation from the reporting State and the Committee’s members.

In its conclusions and recommendations on the third periodic report of Slovenia, the Committee noted with satisfaction the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. The Committee remained concerned that trafficking of women for prostitution continued to be a problem in Slovenia. The Committee recommended that Slovenia continue its efforts to raise the awareness of law enforcement personnel, judges and prosecutors on trafficking in persons, to prosecute perpetrators under the Penal Code and to improve the identification of victims and provide them appropriate rehabilitation, access to health care and counseling.

Regarding the second periodic report of Kuwait, the Committee noted with appreciation the establishment of the Higher Committee on Human Rights which serves to integrate fundamental rights concepts into education curricula. However, reports of widespread abuse of migrant domestic workers, particularly women, were a source of concern. It appeared that this fragile group was constantly exposed to ill-treatment in complete impunity and without legal protection. Kuwait should adopt, as a matter of urgency, labour legislation covering domestic work and providing legal protection to migrant domestic workers against exploitation, ill-treatment and abuse.

Following its consideration of the initial report of Ghana, the Committee noted the adoption of a Juvenile Justice Act, a Human Trafficking Act and its amendment, as well as a revised Criminal Code which criminalised female genital mutilation. The Committee was concerned at the high levels of occupancy in most centres of detention and noted persistent reports of a lack of staff, poor health and hygiene conditions, inadequate health care services and shortages of bedding and food. The Committee recommended that Ghana increase its efforts to remedy prison overcrowding and continue to implement plans to improve and expand the prison infrastructure and remand centres.

Having reviewed the initial report of Turkmenistan, the Committee noted the ongoing efforts by the State party to reform its legislation, policies and procedures in areas of relevance to the Convention, including the adoption of the new Constitution. The Committee was deeply concerned by numerous and consistent allegations about the widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment of detainees in the State party. As a matter of urgency, Turkmenistan should take vigorous steps to eliminate impunity for acts of torture and ill-treatment, carry out prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigations, try the perpetrators of such acts, impose appropriate sentences, and properly compensate victims.

Among positive aspects in the combined fifth and sixth periodic report of Finland, the Committee welcomed the revised National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Program on the Prevention of Violence against Women. However, the Committee was concerned that Finnish criminal law did not contain specific provisions to prohibit the use of statements obtained under torture, as set out in the Convention. The Committee recommended that Finland enact legislation specifically prohibiting the use of statements obtained under torture as evidence and elements of proof in conformity with article 15 of the Convention.

Having examined the third periodic report of Mauritius, The Committee welcomed the efforts made by the State party to operationalize the National Human Rights Commission in April 2001 and to establish an Office of Ombudsperson for children. However, the Committee was concerned that domestic violence, in particular violence against women and children, including sexual violence, persists in the State party and that marital rape was not criminalized. Mauritius should specifically criminalize marital rape in its Criminal Code and adopt, as soon as possible, the Sexual Offences Bill which was under preparation.

Regarding the fourth and fifth periodic reports of Monaco, the Committee noted with appreciation the organization of various trainings and awareness-raising on human rights issues, particularly for judges and officers of public safety. Nevertheless, it remained concerned by the lack of integration in the Penal Code of a definition of torture that fully complied with Article I of the Convention. The Committee was also concerned about the lack of a specific provision criminalizing torture. The Committee recommended that Monaco incorporate in its criminal law a definition of torture which was fully consistent with that of Article I of the Convention.

Having reviewed the initial report of Ireland, the Committee welcomed the development of a National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking of Human Beings and the development of the National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. The Committee remained deeply concerned at reports that prison overcrowding remained a serious problem, and it recommended Ireland adopt specific timeframes for the construction of new prison facilities which complied with international standards, and adopt a policy focusing on the development of alternative, non-custodial sanctions, including community service, as an alternative to custody.

The full concluding observations for all country reports examined during this session can be found on the Committee’s website at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats46.htm.   

In addition to reviewing country reports in public, during its forty-sixth session the Committee considered in private meetings information appearing to contain well-founded indications that torture was being systematically practiced in the territories of some States parties. It also examined communications from individuals claiming to be victims of violations by States parties of the provisions of the Convention. Such communications are accepted only if they concern the 64 States that have declared the Committee competent to receive complaints under article 22 of the Convention. Progress reports on the status of follow-up to individual communications, as well as follow-up to the Committee's concluding observations, were also held in public meetings.

Also during this session, the Committee held an informal meeting with representatives of 31 States parties to the Convention to discuss several matters such as the independence of treaty bodies. The Committee also held an informal meeting with representatives of non-governmental organizations.

At the Committee’s last meeting, Committee Rapporteur Nora Sveaass, highlighting some points in the Committee's annual report, noted that as of May 2011, the Committee had received 249 country reports and 311 reports were overdue. The Committee had decided to send reminders to the following State parties whose initial reports were three or more years overdue: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Holy See, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Timor-Leste.

The Committee’s next session will be held from 31 October to 25 November 2011, during which it is scheduled to examine reports from Bulgaria, Djibouti, Germany, Greece, Madagascar, Morocco, Paraguay, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.

Conclusions and Recommendations on Country Reports

Slovenia

After examining the third periodic report of Slovenia, the Committee welcomed the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, as well as the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Torture and the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. The Committee noted the amendments to the Police Act, the Criminal Procedure Act and Prosecutor’s Act, and the adoption of the Patients’ Rights Act, which regulated the complaint procedure in case of violations of rights of patients. The Committee welcomed the introduction of an alternative form of penal sanction, referred to as “weekend prison”, the adoption of a Resolution on the prevention of domestic violence and the publication of a “Notice of Rights to the Person Who Has Been Arrested”.

The Committee remained concerned that trafficking of women for prostitution continued to be a problem in Slovenia, that measures to protect and assist victims were project-based and not institutionalised, and that there was a lack of information on the number of cases where the victims had received redress. The Committee also remained concerned that the new Law on International Protection did not contain a clause on non-refoulement and that there were therefore substantial grounds for believing that a person would be in danger of being subjected to torture if expelled, returned or extradited to another State. While noting the explanation of Slovenia that collection of data on ethnicity contradicted the right to privacy, the Committee also remained concerned that no alternative modalities had been developed to study the extent of ethnically motivated crimes and to prevent and monitor occurrences of such acts. The Committee was further concerned about discrimination against the non-national Roma minority.

The Committee recommended that Slovenia strengthen its efforts to combat trafficking in persons, especially in women and children. In particular, the State party should continue its efforts to raise the awareness of law enforcement personnel, judges and prosecutors on trafficking in persons, to prosecute perpetrators under the Penal Code and to improve the identification of victims and provide them appropriate rehabilitation, genuine access to health care and counselling. The Committee further recommended that Slovenia study and report the extent of ethnically motivated crimes and investigate root causes, while ensuring the right to privacy and taking all necessary measures to prevent such crimes in the future. In this respect, efforts to combat any types of discrimination against Roma minorities should be strengthened. Slovenia should amend the law on International Protection in order to reflect the principles and criteria established in international refugee law and human rights standards and ensure procedural safeguards against refoulement and effective remedies regarding refoulement claims in removal proceedings.

Kuwait

After examining the second periodic report of Kuwait, the Committee welcomed the State party’s commitment to adopting a definition of torture which is in line with the Convention and amending legislation to ensure appropriate penalties. The Committee welcomed that Kuwait had ratified or acceded to both Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the involvement of children in armed conflicts and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The establishment of the Higher Committee on Human Rights was also laudable and served to integrate fundamental rights concepts into education curricula. The Committee noted with satisfaction that the State party had extended invitations to all Special Procedures mechanisms of the Human Rights Council.

The Committee noted with concern that legal provisions failed to give a definition of torture and ensure appropriate penalties for such acts. Reports referring to widespread abuse of migrant domestic workers, particularly women, were also a source of concern. It appeared that this fragile group was constantly exposed to ill-treatment in complete impunity and without legal protection. The Committee expressed concern at the situation of at least 100,000 people who were not legally recognized by the State. These people, known as the “Bidun” (without nationality), were allegedly victims of various types of discrimination and ill-treatment. The Committee regretted the absence of comprehensive and disaggregated data on complaints, investigations, prosecutions and convictions of cases of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement, security, intelligence and prison personnel, as well as on trafficking, ill-treatment of migrant workers, as well as domestic and sexual violence.

The Committee reiterated its recommendation that torture be incorporated into penal law and that all elements of article 1 of the Convention be included. Kuwait should adopt, as a matter of urgency, labour legislation covering domestic work and providing legal protection to migrant domestic workers against exploitation, ill-treatment and abuse. Regarding the “Bidun” people, the Kuwait should enact specific legislation and recognise their legal status, simplify and facilitate the regularization and integration of these persons and their children, and ensure that they enjoyed all rights without discrimination. Kuwait should also guarantee that these persons are informed of their rights and had access to the fundamental legal safeguards from the moment they were deprived of their liberty, without any discrimination. The State party should compile statistical data relevant to the monitoring of the implementation of the Convention, including data on complaints, investigations, prosecutions and convictions of cases of torture and ill-treatment, trafficking, ill-treatment of migrant workers and domestic and sexual violence, as well as on compensation and rehabilitation provided to the victims.

Ghana

Regarding the initial report of Ghana, the Committee welcomed the efforts and progress made since the country’s return to democratic rule in January 1993. Since the entry into force of the Convention in 2000, the State party had ratified or acceded to several international and regional instruments including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The Committee also noted the adoption of a Juvenile Justice Act, a Human Trafficking Act and its amendment, as well as the Domestic Violence Act and a revised Criminal Code which criminalised female genital mutilation. The Committee noted with appreciation that Ghana had issued a standing invitation to the Special Procedures mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and welcomed the recent visit of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health.

The Committee expressed concern about reports that police failed to bring suspects before a judge within 48 hours of arrest and that some police officers allegedly signed remand warrants themselves and took suspects directly to prisons. The Committee expressed concern at the limited number of legal aid defence lawyers, which precluded many defendants from obtaining legal counsel, and that medical examinations were conducted under the control of “Government Medical Officers”. As for conditions of detention, the Committee was concerned at the high levels of occupancy in most centres and noted persistent reports of a lack of staff, poor health and hygiene conditions, inadequate health care services and shortages of bedding and food. The Committee also expressed concern at reports about the limited number of remand homes for juvenile offenders and the poor conditions in such institutions. The Committee regretted the lack of information on the causes of deaths and the lack of information on the conditions of detention for migrants with irregular administrative status.

The Committee recommended that the State party take effective measures to guarantee that the fundamental legal safeguards for persons detained by the police were respected. This included the right to be promptly informed of reasons for arrest, the right to appear before a judge within the time limit prescribed by law, as well as the right to an independent medical examination or a doctor of one’s own choice. In addition, Ghana should also expand the number of legal aid defence lawyers and make sure that all detainees were guaranteed the ability to challenge effectively and expeditiously the lawfulness of their detention, as well as making audio and video recording of interrogations a standard procedure. Regarding conditions of detention, the Committee recommended that the State party try to meet Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, increase its efforts to remedy prison overcrowding and continue to implement plans to improve and expand the prison infrastructure and remand centres. Ghana should increase the number of prison officials, examine the adequacy of health-care resources available in penal institutions and ensure that the medical assistance given to detainees is of high quality.

Turkmenistan

Having reviewed the initial report of Turkmenistan, the Committee welcomed the fact that the State party had ratified or acceded to the following international instruments: the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as its two Optional Protocols; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee noted the adoption of: the new Constitution; the new Criminal Enforcement Code; the new Criminal Code; the new Code of Criminal Procedure; the Courts of Law Act; and the Law on Combating Trafficking in Persons. The Committee also welcomed the establishment of the State Commission for Citizens’ Complaints about law-enforcement agencies by a Presidential Decree and the abolition of the death penalty by a Presidential Decree.
The Committee was deeply concerned over the numerous and consistent allegations about the widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment of detainees in the State party. The Committee was deeply concerned at the ineffective functioning of the justice system, apparently caused in part by the lack of independence of the judiciary. The Committee was concerned about a number of persons who had been arrested and sentenced at closed trials without proper defence and imprisoned incommunicado, and the lack of information from the State party on progress made in ascertaining their fate and whereabouts. The Committee was also deeply concerned about numerous and consistent reports on a number of deaths in custody and on the alleged restrictions on independent forensic examination into the cases of such deaths. The Committee was deeply concerned about numerous and consistent credible reports of misuse of psychiatric hospitals to detain persons for reasons other than medical, and ongoing physical abuse and psychological pressures by prison staff, including collective punishment, ill-treatment as a “preventive” measure, the use of solitary confinement, and sexual violence and rape by prison officers or inmates, which had reportedly motivated the suicides of several detainees.

As a matter of urgency, Turkmenistan should take immediate and effective measures to prevent acts of torture and ill-treatment throughout the country, including vigorous steps to eliminate impunity for alleged perpetrators of acts of torture and ill-treatment, carry out prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigations, try the perpetrators of such acts, impose appropriate sentences, and properly compensate victims. The Committee urged the State party to take all appropriate measures to abolish incommunicado detention and ensure that all persons held incommunicado are released, or charged and tried under due process and as a matter of priority, notify relatives of their fate and whereabouts and facilitate family visits. The Committee recommended that the State party release those forcibly placed in psychiatric hospitals for reasons other than medical and take measures to ensure that no one was involuntarily placed in psychiatric institutions for reasons other than medical. The Committee also recommended that the State party draw up a comprehensive plan to address the issue of violence, including sexual violence and rape, by inmates and prison staff in all detention facilities and ensure that solitary confinement remained an exceptional measure of limited duration.

Finland

Regarding the fifth and sixth periodic reports of Finland, the Committee noted with satisfaction that the State party had acceded to the several international instruments such as the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air. Finland had also made efforts to revise its legislation in order to give effect to the Committee’s recommendations and better implement the Convention including the amendment of the Criminal Code, which criminalised torture and established the absolute prohibition of torture in all circumstances, and amendments to the Act on the Ombudsman for Minorities and the Discrimination Board, under which the Ombudsman acted as the National Rapporteur for Trafficking in Human Beings. It was also laudable that Finland had revised the National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Program on the Prevention of Violence against Women and that it had continued to contribute regularly to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Victims of torture since 1984.

However, the Committee was concerned that Finnish criminal law did not contain specific provisions to prohibit the use of statements obtained under torture, as set out in the Convention. Also, the prosecution service had not issued instructions or orders regarding the prohibition of using a statement obtained under torture as element of proof. The Mental Health Act had not been amended regarding involuntary psychiatric hospitalization and treatment and an independent psychiatric opinion was not part of the procedure for involuntary hospitalization. What was more, the consent of patients was not sought with regards to electroconvulsive therapy and there is no specific register for recording recourse. The Committee was concerned that occasional overcrowding continued to exist in some prisons and detention centres. It noted that 222 prison cells in three different prison facilities still lacked appropriate sanitary equipment, including toilet facilities, and that the practice of “slopping out” continued to exist.

The Committee recommended that Finland enact legislation specifically prohibiting the use of statements obtained under torture as evidence and elements of proof in conformity with article 15 of the Convention. Finland should further pass legislation rescinding the provisions on involuntary psychiatric hospitalization and treatment, and enact basic legal safeguards. This could include requiring an independent psychiatric opinion and ensuring that a meaningful and expedient court review of the measure of involuntary hospitalization is provided. Finland should ensure that mental health services and administering electroconvulsive therapy be based on the free consent of persons deprived of their liberty. The Committee also recommended the establishment of an independent body to monitor hospitals and places of detention. Overcrowding could be tackled by redistributing prisoners, accelerating the judicial procedures and making use of probationary liberty under supervision. The Committee urged Finland to accelerate the renovation of the Mikkeli and Kuopio prisons, as well as the Helsinki and Hameenlinna prisons, in addition to installing sanitary equipment in all places of detention.

Mauritius

After examining the third periodic report of Mauritius, the Committee noted with satisfaction the efforts being made by the State party to amend its legislation in order to ensure greater protection of human rights and welcomed the adoption of: of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act (article 78) which incorporates in national law the definition of torture set out in article 1 of the Convention against torture; the amendments to the Child Protection Act 1994; the adoption of the Combating of Trafficking Act; the adoption of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2007; the Imprisonment for Civil Debt (Abolition) Act 2006; the Sex Discrimination Act which creates a Sex Discrimination Division within the National Human Rights Commission; and the Transfer of Prisoners Act passed in 2001. The Committee welcomed the efforts made by the State party to operationalize the National Human Rights Commission in April 2001 and to establish an Office of Ombudsperson for children.
While noting the information provided by Mauritius, the Committee was concerned by the lack of clarification as to whether arrested and detained persons in police custody had access to a doctor at the outset of their detention. The Committee was also concerned by the lack of clear information as to whether detained persons were promptly informed of their right to contact their family or a person of their choice. The Committee was further concerned about the appropriate registration of persons between their arrest and the moment they were brought before a judge. The Committee was concerned that only a few complaints for torture, excessive use of force or ill-treatment by law enforcement or prison officers or cases of death occurred in police custody were investigated and prosecuted and did not usually lead to compensation. The Committee noted efforts undertaken by the State party to combat domestic violence, in particular violence against women and children. However, the Committee was concerned that domestic violence, including sexual violence, persisted in the State party and that marital rape was not criminalized.

The Committee recommended that Mauritius take measures to ensure that persons arrested and detained in police stations had access at the outset of their detention to a doctor, that visits by a doctor were conducted in a confidential manner, and that they could inform their family or a person of their choice about their detention. The State party should systematically conduct impartial, thorough and effective inquiries into all allegations of violence committed by the police or prison officers, and prosecute and punish the perpetrators in proportion to the seriousness of their acts. Mauritius should continue to effectively address domestic violence, including violence against women and children. In this regard, the State party should ensure the entry into force of the amendments brought to the Protection from Domestic Violence Act in 2007 and continue to conduct awareness-raising campaigns and training of its officials on domestic violence, including sexual violence. The State party should also take measures to facilitate complaints by victims and inform them about recourse available and investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible. Moreover, Mauritius should specifically criminalize marital rape in its Criminal Code and adopt, as soon as possible, the Sexual Offences Bill.

Monaco

Having examined the second periodic report of Monaco, the Committee noted with satisfaction the ratification by the State party of international instruments on human rights during the period under review, including: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child. The Committee also noted with satisfaction the entry into force of Law No. 1343, amending certain provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure guaranteeing the rights of persons under custody or remand; the entry into force of Law No. 1344 on strengthening the repression of crimes against children; and Sovereign Ordinance No. 605 implementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols. The Committee also noted with appreciation the organization of various trainings and awareness-raising on human rights issues, particularly for judges and officers of public safety.

The Committee remained concerned by the lack of integration in the Penal Code, despite its recent revision, of a definition of torture that fully complied with Article I of the Convention. The Committee was also concerned about the lack of a specific provision criminalizing torture. The Committee noted that the State party had begun negotiations with the French authorities to determine "visitation" of prisoners sentenced by the Courts of Monaco and placed in French prisons. However, the Committee was concerned at the lack of follow-up on cases of prisoners in France and regretted that the practice of explicit consent of the condemned on their transfer from Monaco to France was not formally enshrined in the text. The Committee noted the submission in October 2009 of Bill No. 869 on the control and prevention of specific violence against women, children and persons with disabilities at the National Council. However, it remained concerned by the slow process of adoption of this important legislation.

The Committee recommended that Monaco incorporate in its criminal law a definition of torture which was fully consistent with that of Article I of the Convention. The State party should adopt specific provisions prohibiting the invocation of exceptional circumstances or superior orders to justify torture. The State party should take legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures to prevent acts of torture, including strengthening the guarantees of protection for an officer refusing to enforce an illegal order issued by a supervisor. The Committee recommended that Monaco establish a body to facilitate the monitoring of treatment and material conditions of prisoners. The State party was encouraged to integrate the explicit consent of the condemned to their transfer to France. Monaco should ensure that the Bill No. 869 was rapidly adopted to prevent and combat all forms of violence against women, children and persons with disabilities. The State party should ensure that corporal punishment was explicitly prohibited in all areas of life and domestic violence repressed.

Ireland

After reviewing the initial report of Ireland, the Committee welcomed the ratification by the State party of a number of international and regional instruments, including: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the International Convention on the Rights of the Child; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime; and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons especially Women and Children. The Committee also welcomed the enactment of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act of 2008 and the International Criminal Court Act of 2006 as well as the development of a National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking of Human Beings and the development of the National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
The Committee was concerned by the various reports of Ireland’s alleged cooperation in a “rendition program”, where “rendition flights” use the State party’s airports and airspace. The Committee was also concerned by the inadequate response by the State party to investigate these allegations. The Committee remained deeply concerned at reports that prison overcrowding remains a serious problem, that deficiencies in the standard of healthcare provided in a number of prisons in the State party had been identified, and at the continued high rates of inter-prisoner violence. The Committee was gravely concerned at reports about the continued high rates of domestic violence against women and at the cuts in funding in 2009 and 2010, for refuge and support services for victims of violence. While welcoming the information provided by the State party on the general training programs for the Police Force (Garda Síochána), the Committee was concerned at the lack of specific training of law enforcement personnel with regard to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.

The State party should provide further information on specific measures taken to investigate allegations of involvement in “rendition programs” and the use of Ireland’s airports and airspace by flights involved in “extraordinary rendition”. The Committee recommended Ireland adopt specific timeframes for the construction of new prison facilities which complied with international standards, adopt a policy focusing on the development of alternative, non-custodial sanctions including community service as an alternative to custody and the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism. Regarding domestic violence, the Committee urged Ireland to strengthen its efforts to prevent violence against women through the effective implementation of the National Strategy on Domestic Violence; enhance its support and funding of refuge and support services provided to victims of domestic violence; and institute prompt, impartial and thorough investigations into allegations of domestic violence, and where appropriate, prosecutions and convictions. The Committee also recommended that the State party ensure that law enforcement personnel are provided, on a regular and systematic basis, with the necessary training on the provisions of the Convention, especially with regard to the prohibition of torture.

Membership and Officers

The Committee's members are elected by the States parties to the Convention and serve in their personal capacity. The current members of the Committee are: Essadia Belmir (Morocco); Alessio Bruni (Italy); Felice Gaer (United States); Luis Gallegos Chiriboga (Ecuador); Abdoulaye Gaye (Senegal); Claudio Grossman (Chile); Myrna Y. Kleopas (Cyprus); Fernando Mariño Menendez (Spain); Nora Sveaass (Norway); and Xuexian Wang (China).

Mr. Grossman is the Committee Chairman; Essadia Belmir (Morocco), Felice Gaer (United States) and Xuexian Wang (China) are the Vice Chairpersons; and Nora Sveaass (Norway) is the Committee Rapporteur.

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