Torture Convention Protocol on Prison Inspection Progresses

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Sunday, September 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
July 23, 2002, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) passed a protocol to the International Convention on Torture to establish an independent prison inspection system. The U.S. Government strongly opposed and tried to reopen discussions on the protocol notwithstanding support by many of the U.S.?s closest allies in Europe and Latin America. After significant debate ECOSOC approved it by a vote of 35-8 with 10 abstentions. Countries opposing the protocol included Cuba, Syria, and many Asian countries with questionable human rights pasts. With ECOSOC?s approval the protocol will need a majority vote from the UN?s 190-member General Assembly and 20 ratifications before it goes into effect.