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UN expert on torture to visit Argentina from April 9-20

GENEVA (5 April 2018) - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, will visit Argentina from April 9 to 20, 2018 to identify and evaluate the main challenges related to torture and ill-treatment in the country.

The expert, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will meet representatives of the federal government and provincial governments, various executive, legislative and judicial authorities, civil society organisations, ombudsmen and victims of human rights violations. 

Melzer and his team will travel to several provinces in order to visit prisons, police stations, juveniles and women's facilities, as well as psychiatric institutions, and immigration detention facilities, to examine the treatment and living conditions of all persons deprived of their liberty, in accordance with his mandate.

“I look forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with different actors and to helping the authorities uphold the rule of law, promote accountability and fulfill the right to reparation for victims,” he said. 

“It is an opportune time to visit Argentina given the recent designation of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture,” said the independent expert commissioned by the Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the use of torture and other ill treatment throughout the world.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to share his preliminary observations and preliminary recommendations on Friday, 20 April at 12:30 at the United Nations Information Center for Argentina and Uruguay (CINU) Junín 1940, First floor, 1113 Buenos Aires.

Melzer will present a final report on his main conclusions and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in March 2019.


Mr. Nils Melzer (Switzerland) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in November 2016. Mr. Melzer has previously worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and is currently the Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. 

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. 

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
Ms. Krystel Abi Habib  (+41 22 917 9042/
kabihabib@ohchr.org), or write to sr-torture@ohchr.org 

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.