Does Torture Prevention Work?

Edited by Richard Carver and Lisa Handley

- +

ISBN: 9781781383520

Publication: July 1, 2016

In the past three decades, international and regional human rights bodies have developed an ever-lengthening list of measures that states are required to adopt in order to prevent torture. But do any of these mechanisms actually work? This study is the first systematic analysis of the effectiveness of torture prevention. Primary research was conducted in 16 countries, looking at their experience of torture and prevention mechanisms over a 30-year period. Data was analysed using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques. Prevention measures do work, although some are much more effective than others. Most important of all are the safeguards that should be applied in the first hours and days after a person is taken into custody. Notification of family and access to an independent lawyer and doctor have a significant impact in reducing torture. The investigation and prosecution of torturers and the creation of independent monitoring bodies are also important in reducing torture. An important caveat to the conclusion that prevention works is that is actual practice in police stations and detention centres that matters – not treaties ratified or laws on the statute book.

Lisa Handley is President of Frontier International Consulting and was formerly professor of political science at George Washington University and University of Virginia.

Richard Carver is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights and Governance at Oxford Brookes University

List of Tables                                                                                                                                       vii

List of Figures                                                                                                                                     ix

Forward                                                                                                                                                xi

Acknowledgements                                                                                                                             xv

Contributors                                                                                                                                        xix


1. Introduction    Richard Carver and Lisa Handley                                                               1


Overview and Findings


2. Studying Torture Prevention       Richard Carver and Lisa Handley                                     11

3. Identifying What Preventative Mechanisms Work     Richard Carver

    and Lisa Handley                                                                                                                            45


Prevention Sustained


4. United Kingdom       Richard Carver                                                                                           105

5. Chile         Karinna Fernández Neira and Par Engstrom                                                       143


Prevention Stalled


6. Hungary     Borbála Ivány, András Kádár, and András Nemes                                            183

7. Indonesia      Budi Hernawan and Chris Sidoti                                                                        231

8. Israel      Irit Ballas                                                                                                                        273

9. Peru   Nataly Herrera and Tom Pegram                                                                                  299

10. South Africa    Gwénaëlle Dereymaeker and Lukas Muntingh                                           335


Prevention Expected


11. Georgia         Bakar Jikia and Moris Shalikashvili                                                                 395

12. Tunisia         Fatma Raâch Regaya                                                                                            419

13. Turkey          Kerem Altiparmak, Richard Carver and Lisa Handley                                 439



Prevention Denied


14. Ethiopia      Yonas Mebrahtu and Sam Ponniah                                                                    471

15. India           Jinee Lokaneeta and Amar Jesani                                                                       501

16. Kyrgyzstan      Aida Baijumanova, Moritz Birk and Lira Ismailova                                  549

17. The Philippines    Ricardo Sunga III                                                                                          591


Conclusion and Future Strategies


18. Conclusion       Richard Carver and Lisa Handley                                                                 627


Bibliography                                                                                                                                         635

Index                                                                                                                                                     651

This book is important because it is the first evidence-based feedback on the many efforts of national and international actors in the field of torture prevention. The findings of the research can provide concrete and actionable material for those who work in the field of torture prevention, enabling them to focus on and invest in what works rather than only going along with a formatted response – which sadly is often the norm.
Olivier Chow, International Review of the Red Cross


Format: Ebook

320 Pages

ISBN: 9781781383520

Publication: July 1, 2016

Related products

Scroll to top