Election of Daniel Fink to UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture

Press release, 22.10.2020

Switzerland welcomes Daniel Fink's election on 22 October 2020 to the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) following Switzerland's submission of his candidature for a new term of office.

Daniel Fink joined the SPT in 2018 and is a recognised expert on the deprivation of liberty, detention conditions and the prevention of torture. He was named head of the Regional Team for Europe in 2019 in recognition of his dedication to the SPT's mission. His election to a new term of office is an expression of international recognition of his outstanding contributions during his first term of office.

As host state to the ten human rights treaty bodies and a state party to a majority of the related conventions, Switzerland strongly supports the treaty bodies' work. The treaty bodies are a fundamental pillar of the universal human rights system and are working to ensure compliance with the human rights conventions. Highly qualified and independent experts are the basis of any effective human rights system. Switzerland is delighted to have been able to present Daniel Fink's candidature.

The prevention of torture is one of the priorities of Swiss human rights policy. Together with Costa Rica, Switzerland launched the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), which currently has 91 signatory states. The SPT is an international committee set up under the OPCAT to monitor the conditions of detention and the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in states parties to the protocol. It also advises states on the implementation of the OPCAT and supports in particular the establishment and work of national preventive mechanisms. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SPT issued an advice notice for states parties to the OPCAT. The SPT faces major challenges related to the pandemic and will need to find innovative solutions in order to fulfil its mandate.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs