Today the Australian Government announced their intention to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) by December 2017.

The OPCAT was signed by the Australian Government in 2009. By announcing its intention to ratify OPCAT, the Australian Government has taken a significant step towards establishing enhanced oversight of Australian places of detention, and improvement in conditions.

Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said protecting the rights of prisoners could reduce the rate of recidivism.

“Protecting a detainees basic rights is in all of our interests,” Mr Santow said.

“If a person is brutalised in detention, they will be more dangerous on their eventual release.”

Gov. media release available here.