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General Comment No. 3: Implementation of article 14 by States parties, CAT/C/GC/3, 13 December 2012

8. Restitution is a form of redress designed to re-establish the victim’s situation before the violation of the Convention was committed, taking into consideration the specificities of each case. The preventive obligations under the Convention require States parties to ensure that a victim receiving such restitution is not placed in a position where he or she is at risk of repetition of torture or ill-treatment. In certain cases, the victim may consider that restitution is not possible due to the nature of the violation; however the State shall provide the victim with full access to redress. For restitution to be effective, efforts should be made to address any structural causes of the violation, including any kind of discrimination related to, for example, gender, sexual orientation, disability, political or other opinion, ethnicity, age and religion, and all other grounds of discrimination.


32. The principle of non-discrimination is a basic and general principle in the protection of human rights and fundamental to the interpretation and application of the Convention. States parties shall ensure that access to justice and to mechanisms for seeking and obtaining redress are readily available and that positive measures ensure that redress is equally accessible to all persons regardless of race, colour, ethnicity, age, religious belief or affiliation, political or other opinion, national or social origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or other disability, health status, economic or indigenous status, reason for which the person is detained, including persons accused of political offences or terrorist acts, asylum-seekers, refugees or others under international protection, or any other status or adverse distinction, and including those marginalized or made vulnerable on bases such as those above. Culturally sensitive collective reparation measures shall be available for groups with shared identity, such as minority groups, indigenous groups, and others. The Committee notes that collective measures do not exclude the individual right to redress.


39. With regard to the obligations in article 14, States parties shall ensure both de jure and de facto access to timely and effective redress mechanisms for members of groups marginalized and/or made vulnerable, avoid measures that impede the ability of members of such groups to seek and obtain redress, and address formal or informal obstacles that they may face in obtaining redress. These may include, for example, inadequate judicial or other procedures for quantifying damages which may have a negative disparate impact on such individuals in accessing or keeping money. As the Committee has emphasized in its general comment No. 2, “gender is a key factor. Being female intersects with other identifying characteristics or status of the person…to determine the ways that women and girls are subject to or at risk of torture or ill-treatment”. States parties shall ensure due attention to gender in providing all the elements cited above in the process of ensuring that everybody, in particular members of groups made vulnerable, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, must be treated fairly and equally and obtain fair and adequate compensation, rehabilitation and other reparative measures which respond to their specific needs.


Link to full text of the report: General Comment-CAT-3-Implementation of article 4 by States parties-2012-eng