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The Council of Europe's Committee
for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is the only Europe-wide
institution which can at any time inspect any place of
detention located in a Council of Europe member state
(including prisons, police stations, psychiatric
institutions and immigration detention facilities). As a
result of its inspections, the Committee drafts reports
making recommendations to relevant governments.
In November 2009, the CPT, composed of experts drawn from a variety of professional backgrounds, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Since it was set up in 1989 the CPT has made more than 300 visits, and more than 250 reports have been published.
Torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are still persistent problems in today's Europe, and they are not confined to any one country or region. The CPT has made a large number of detailed recommendations on improving the conditions of detainees, many of which have been implemented by governments.