Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General
Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984
entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27 (1)
The States Parties to this Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United
Nations, recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is
the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter, in particular Article 55, to promote
universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Having regard to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be
subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
Having regard also to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the
General Assembly on 9 December 1975,
Desiring to make more effective the struggle against torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment throughout the world,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or
suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as
obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or
a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing
him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or
suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public
official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising
only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

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