A free online course on the standards developed by the CPT (European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment) has been made available on the HELP[1] online platform.

Preventing ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty requires that all actors involved are properly trained and well equipped to prevent or address unacceptable treatment and conditions.

The purpose of the Council of Europe HELP course on CPT standards is to familiarise users with the CPT’s key standards concerning the five most important places of deprivation of liberty: police stations, prisons, immigration detention facilities, psychiatric establishments and social care homes.

The course consists of 6 modules:

  1. Introduction (what is the CPT and how does it work?; CPT visits; interaction between the CPT and other Council of Europe bodies; the CPT and other preventive mechanisms; how to use CPT resources)
  2. Law enforcement (apprehension; arrival at a police station; legal safeguards; police interviews; conditions of detention; appearance before a judge)
  3. Prisons and other penal institutions (admissions procedure; ill-treatment; conditions of detention; health care in prisons; special categories of prisoners; other issues)
  4. Immigration detention (detention as a last resort; legal safeguards during detention; conditions of detention; children; staff; health care; removal of foreign nationals)
  5. Psychiatric establishments (ill-treatment; patient’s living conditions; psychiatric treatment; staff; means of restraint; legal safeguards)
  6. Social care homes (de-institutionalisation; ill-treatment; resident’s living conditions; care; staff; means of restraint; legal safeguards)

The topics are explored in a practical way, through presentations, interactive screens, knowledge tests and reflective exercises.

The course is primarily intended for legal professionals, staff from places of deprivation of liberty, national preventive mechanisms (NPMs) and policy makers, but can be also used by national human rights institutions, civil society organisations, university lecturers and students, etc.

Course users may access all course modules or only those which are of particular interest to them.

The course is available in English and will soon be translated into other languages.

The course was developed by the Council of Europe HELP Programme in close cooperation with the CPT Secretariat, and with the support of the Project Strengthening the application of the European Convention on Human Rights in Georgia”, under the Partnership for Good Governance between the Council of Europe and European Union.

Click here to access the course on the CPT Standards.

[1] European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals