COPCAT Shorts – New Online Course on CPT Detention Monitoring Standards

A new free online course on the standards developed by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) is now available. The course aims to familiarize human rights actors with the CPT’s key standards concerning the five most important places of deprivation of liberty – police stations, prisons, immigration detention facilities, psychiatric establishments and social care homes.

As a highly respected regional detention monitoring body with 30 years’ experience monitoring places of detention and developing a wealth of standards based on best practice, the CPT has a huge amount to offer Canadian human rights actors and detention oversight mechanisms.

HELP CPT Standards promotional image – copyright Council of Europe (2019).

The official press release launching the online course, describes its content as follows:

The course consists of 6 modules:

Introduction (what is the CPT and how does it work?; CPT visits; interaction between the CPT and other Council of Europe bodies; the CPT and other preventive mechanisms; how to use CPT resources);

Law enforcement (apprehension; arrival at a police station; legal safeguards; police interviews; conditions of detention; appearance before a judge);

Prisons and other penal institutions (admissions procedure; ill-treatment; conditions of detention; health care in prisons; special categories of prisoners; other issues);

Immigration detention (detention as a last resort; legal safeguards during detention; conditions of detention; children; staff; health care; removal of foreign nationals);

Psychiatric establishments (ill-treatment; patient’s living conditions; psychiatric treatment; staff; means of restraint; legal safeguards);

Social care homes (de-institutionalisation; ill-treatment; resident’s living conditions; care; staff; means of restraint; legal safeguards).

The topics are explored in a practical way, through presentations, interactive screens, knowledge tests and reflective exercises.

The course is primarily intended for legal professionals, staff from places of deprivation of liberty, national preventive mechanisms (NPMs) and policy makers, but can be also used by national human rights institutions, civil society organisations, university lecturers and students, etc.”

The course was developed by the Council of Europe HELP Programme (Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals) in close cooperation with the CPT Secretariat. Details of how to access the course can be found in the CPT press release in English and French.


Visit the CPT website for more information about this free online course.

Find out more about the CPT in English and French.

Other CPT detention monitoring documents can be found under Other Resources.

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Read more about the CPT’s concerns about corruption and human rights.