Uganda and the Convention Against Torture (CAT)

The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) is the international treaty that makes torture illegal (without exception). Uganda ratified this treat in 1986. Uganda has thus agreed to honor the obligations of this treaty, including domestication of the treaty. To this date, Feb 2007, she has not yet done so. There is no law against torture and therefore no punishment.

Under CAT is created a human rights treaty body called the Committee Against Torture. This Committee is responsible for the following 3 things:

  1. hearing and investigating individual complaints
  2. undertaking inquiries
  3. consider inter-state complaints (this never happens)

Under the Optional Protocol to the CAT (for which Uganda is not a party to) there has been created a Subcommittee that will hold in-country investigations.

The Committee is also responsible for reviewing the State-required reports on the state of torture in their country.  States are required to submit a report to the Committee once in the first year, and once every four years thereafter. Thus, Uganda has been required to submit 5 reports since 1986, and it has managed to produce 1 report.  This report was received by the Committee in 2004. In 2005, the Committee has produced a report of Conclusions and Recommendations in response to Uganda’s report.

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