The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) Monday canceled its visit to Australia after it was denied access to detention centers and mental health facilities.In October 2022, SPT visited Australia for 12 days, but was forced to suspend the visit after they were prevented from visiting multiple facilities. Specifically, SPT cited issues with access to detention facilities in Queensland and New South Wales. SPT hoped to resume its suspended visit this year with expanded access to all facilities in the country, but faced the same barriers. SPT confirmed it will visit South Africa, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Croatia, Georgia, Guatemala, State of Palestine and the Philippines this year.This subcommittee operates under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment adopted in 2002. The protocol requires states who sign on to take measures to prevent torture, allow the subcommittee access to places of detention like jails and mental health facilities, and supply information requested by the subcommittee. SPT takes action by visiting facilities across the world and recommending policies to prevent torture in detention centers.This cancellation comes days after an Australian court allowed the release of documents in a case by a former Australian soldier alleging he had to perform sex acts during his military training.
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