Electronic OPCAT

If a single picture is worth a thousand words, then a string of them no doubt say infinitely much more. This Electronic OPCAT page seeks to do just that, conveying an abundance of information about the OPCAT through currently available electronic media. In short, why not watch the following clips in your own time and make your own mind up – should Canada join the ever expanding group of states which have now ratified the OPCAT?

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), a US-based inter-faith civil society initiative, kicks us off with this very moving film which is part of its Preventing Torture Everywhere campaign.

The above film has a clear focus on the US. However, like its US neighbour, Canada has yet to sign or ratify the OPCAT.


The Asia Pacific Forum of NHRIs, an Australia-based NGO which promotes the activities of NHRIs in the Asia Pacific region, has contributed the following short clip, which certainly merits a watch or two. The organization’s website focusing on preventing torture in places of detention is also worth exploring, not least for its video and other excellent content.


If you are brand new to the world of the OPCAT, then why not watch the following short videos (in English and French) which will throw light on the basic ins-and-outs of this important UN torture prevention instrument. The videos, which were produced by the Geneva-based Association for the Prevention of Torture, offer a quick insight into the OPCAT.


The Australian Human Rights Commission has similarly produced this charming primer on the OPCAT, as presented by the young members of the Caruana family.


The Office of the Ombudsman of New Zealand, which forms part of the country’s multi-body NPM, has also produced this clip presenting its work under the OPCAT. The film is presented in sign language with English sub-titles.


In a slightly longer interview with the recently retired Secretary General of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, Mark Thomson speaks at greater length, among other issues, about the potentially positive impact of the OPCAT as a torture prevention instrument.


While not strictly on the OPCAT, the following film by the the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), In detention: The humane way, offers a highly persuasive argument why oversight of places of deprivation of liberty is of the utmost importance. In doing so, it describes the operation in practice of ICRC visits.

A French version of the film is also available, as follows:


If you have any lingering doubts why independent detention monitoring of places of detention is so vital, then watch this final moving video interview with Vincent Cochetel, a UN representative, who was abducted in Chechnya in 1998. The videos, which are available in English and English with French subtitles, were produced by the Convention against Torture Initiative and True Heroes Films.

If you have any suggested electronic media which we should feature on this website, please do not hesitate to contact the Canada OPCAT Project.