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Welcome to the UK National Preventive Mechanism

The UK National Preventive Mechanism was established in 2009 to strengthen the protection of people in detention through independent monitoring.

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What is the National Preventive Mechanism?

In coordination across the four nations of the UK, the NPM focuses attention on practices in detention that could amount to ill-treatment, and works to ensure its own approaches are consistent with international standards for independent detention monitoring.

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About the NPM

  • The NPM was established in March 2009 after the UK ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) in 2003
  • There are 21 members of the UK NPM, representing inspectorates and monitors from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • According to OPCAT Article 4, NPMs must be able to make unannounced visits to any place where persons are or may be deprived of their liberty
  • The UK government must account for the NPM’s ability to perform its functions to the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) and other UN bodies
  • The NPM Secretariat is hosted by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (England and Wales)
  • Representatives from all NPM members attend an annual business meeting and communicate throughout the year about their NPM work