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Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (persons with disabilities) 2008

United Nations UN Special Rapporteur on Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment International Human Rights Instruments and Resources Reports of UN Special Rapporteurs United Nations 28 July 2008 Report A/63/175 human rights

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In the present report, submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution
62/148, the Special Rapporteur addresses issues of special concern to him, in
particular overall trends and developments with respect to questions falling within
his mandate.

The Special Rapporteur draws the attention of the General Assembly to the
situation of persons with disabilities, who are frequently subjected to neglect, severe
forms of restraint and seclusion, as well as physical, mental and sexual violence. He
is concerned that such practices, perpetrated in public institutions, as well as in the
private sphere, remain invisible and are not recognized as torture or other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The recent entry into force of the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol
provides a timely opportunity to review the anti-torture framework in relation to
persons with disabilities. By reframing violence and abuse perpetrated against
persons with disabilities as torture or a form of ill-treatment, victims and advocates
can be afforded stronger legal protection and redress for violations of human rights.

In section IV, the Special Rapporteur examines the use of solitary confinement.
The practice has a clearly documented negative impact on mental health, and
therefore should be used only in exceptional circumstances or when absolutely
necessary for criminal investigation purposes. In all cases, solitary confinement
should be used for the shortest period of time. The Special Rapporteur draws
attention to the Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement,
annexed to the report, as a useful tool to promote the respect and protection of the
rights of detainees.


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