United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment CAT/C/GC/3 Distr.: General 13 December 2012 Original: English Committee against Torture General comment No. 3 (2012) Implementation of article 14 by States parties 1. This general comment explains and clarifies to States parties the content and scope of the obligations under article 14 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Each State party is required to “ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.” The Committee considers that article 14 is applicable to all victims of torture and acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (hereafter “ill-treatment”) without discrimination of any kind, in line with the Committee’s general comment No. 2. 2. The Committee considers that the term “redress” in article 14 encompasses the concepts of “effective remedy” and “reparation”. The comprehensive reparative concept therefore entails restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition and refers to the full scope of measures required to redress violations under the Convention. 3. Victims are persons who have individually or collectively suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through acts or omissions that constitute violations of the Convention. A person should be considered a victim regardless of whether the perpetrator of the violation is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted, and regardless of any familial or other relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. The term “victim” also includes affected immediate family or dependants of the victim as well as persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims or to prevent victimization. The term “survivors” may, in some cases, be preferred by persons who have suffered harm. The Committee uses the legal term “victims” without prejudice to other terms which may be preferable in specific contexts. 4. The Committee emphasizes the importance of victim participation in the redress process, and that the restoration of the dignity of the victim is the ultimate objective in the provision of redress. 5. The obligations of States parties to provide redress under article 14 are two-fold: procedural and substantive. To satisfy their procedural obligations, States parties shall enact legislation and establish complaints mechanisms, investigation bodies and institutions, including independent judicial bodies, capable of determining the right to and awarding redress for a victim of torture and ill-treatment, and ensure that such mechanisms and GE.12-48718

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