Today we announce the Government intends to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) by December 2017.

The ratification of OPCAT will be another significant human rights achievement for the Turnbull Government.

It will improve the oversight of places of detention in Australia, and it reflects the Government’s commitment to preventing torture and mistreatment.

Under OPCAT, places like Australia’s prisons, and juvenile and immigration detention facilities will be independently monitored by a network of Australian inspectorates.

Australia will also welcome periodic visits by the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Government respects the role each state and territory plays in managing detention facilities, and will work with them to ratify the OPCAT.

Following ratification, the Australian Government will fund the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman to coordinate the network of Australian inspectorates.

Australia is committed to the international human rights system, as demonstrated by its candidacy for a seat on the Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term.

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