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Torture Prevention in Latin America: Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and the Role of National Preventive Mechanisms

Engstrom, Par; Pegram, Tom; (2022) Torture Prevention in Latin America: Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and the Role of National Preventive Mechanisms. In: Burbano Herrera, Clara and Haeck, Yves, (eds.) Human Rights Behind Bars. Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice. (pp. 319-350). Springer: Cham, Switzerland.

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Abstract

This chapter assesses implementation of the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), and National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) designation processes and outcomes specifically, in Latin America. It shows that NPM designation processes have varied considerably in the region between countries depending on two sets of factors: (i) the degree of official and institutional resistance to designation of effective monitoring; and (ii) pre-existing capacity on the part of domestic structures tasked with monitoring duties. The empirical analysis of four country case studies (Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru and Mexico) demonstrate that even in situations of high levels of state resistance high-capacity candidate agencies can have a powerful, even decisive, impact. Interestingly, strong capacity can co-exist with resistance and can mitigate the pernicious effects of resistance to designation of potentially effective NPMs. These findings are important for any assessment of the potential of NPMs and monitoring of detention facilities more generally. Not only do they highlight key factors that shape domestic processes of treaty implementation during the post-ratification phase, but they also put the spotlight on the central political and institutional conditions that determine the effectiveness of monitoring institutions to protect the rights of persons deprived of liberty.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Torture Prevention in Latin America: Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and the Role of National Preventive Mechanisms
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-11484-7_14
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-11484-7_14
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Latin America, torture prevention, OPCAT
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of the Americas
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10160013
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