Implementation of OPCAT in Nigeria

Project Details


Aims and Objectives
The overall aim of the HRIC’s Nigeria OPCAT project is to strengthen the operation of the ‘National Preventive Mechanism’ (NPM) established by the government of Nigeria as a State party to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT). The project is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Nigeria ratified the OPCAT in July 2009 and although it has established a ‘National Committee on Torture’ as a step towards fulfilling its obligations under the OPCAT, the mandate of this body differs in a number of ways from the requirements stipulated by the OPCAT and is not operating effectively in the country. Accordingly the overall aim of the HRIC’s project is to provide policy, legal and technical advice to support national and international efforts to strengthen the functioning of the NPM and bring its mandate into conformity with the OPCAT.

The HRIC’s Nigeria OPCAT project has two main phases. The first phase commenced in 2014 and involved stakeholder consultations to identify gaps in the full and effective delivery of the NPM mandate and priority areas to overcome key deficiencies. From the first phase it was identified that there was a need to develop a legal framework for the NPM and to raise awareness of how to apply the mandate to prevent torture and other ill-treatment in practice.

The second phase of the project commenced in 2015 and has two main objectives:

• to develop a draft legal framework for the mandate of the NPM; and
• to provide training on the preventive mandate of NPMs.
To this end the HRIC is working with a range of national and international stakeholders including members of the Nigerian National Committee on Torture, the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons.


The project involves the production of a number of documents including:

• A baseline study on the NPM structure and implementation of OPCAT in Nigeria
• Stakeholder workshop reports
• Legal and policy briefings on the anti-torture Bill and the NPM mandate
These documents are not yet publicly available.

• Report of the roundtable discussion on the draft anti-torture Bill.
On 26 February 2016 the HRIC organised a roundtable discussion in Nigeria. The purpose of the event was to bring together stakeholders to discuss the draft anti-torture Bill currently under review in the country and provide input into the development of the Bill. A nigeria-report-and-revised-bill is available, this sets out a number of recommendations and proposed amendments to the Bill.

Project Team

Debra Long
(Bristol) (Principal Investigator)

Professor Rachel Murray

HRIC Director
Effective start/end date27/06/1427/02/15

Structured keywords

  • LAW Human Rights Implementation Centre


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