Istanbul Protocol

Istanbul Protocol

Istanbul Protocol

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Description:
The Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, commonly known as the Istanbul Protocol, is the first set of international guidelines for documentation of torture and its consequences. It became an official United Nations document in 1999.

The Istanbul Protocol is intended to serve as a set of international guidelines for the assessment of persons who allege torture and ill treatment, for investigating cases of alleged torture, and for reporting such findings to the judiciary and any other investigative body.

Background and purpose

The Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment contains internationally recognised standards and procedures on how to recognise and document symptoms of torture so the documentation may serve as valid evidence in court.

As such, the Istanbul Protocol provides useful guidance for doctors and lawyers who want to investigate whether or not a person has been tortured and report the findings to the judiciary and any other investigative bodies.

Non-binding document

The Istanbul Protocol is a non-binding document. However, international law obliges governments to investigate and document incidents of torture and other forms of ill-treatment and to punish those responsible in a comprehensive, effective, prompt and impartial manner. The Istanbul Protocol is a tool for doing this.

The...
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