Reforms in the criminal justice system

Torture and ill-treatment for the most part occurs in connection with arrests and during the first days after when the police or military by means of physical force are trying to get information and confessions from the detainees.

For this reason, DIGNITY develops and disseminates knowledge of reform as well as investigative and criminal processes that may combat torture instead of producing more torture.

In cooperation with local partners in civil society and the legal community, DIGNITY works to establish effective legal guarantees to protect citizens against torture.

We want to minimize the use of solitary confinement and detention as these are situations where we know from experience that much torture takes place.

Prosecutors and judges may inadvertently play a key role in that torture is not prosecuted in several countries. They need to be able to identify a possible torture case and they also need to have the necessary knowledge of which international rules their state must abide by. Otherwise, it becomes very difficult for torture victims to get the help and the redress to which they are entitled to. Likewise prosecutors and judges play a central and important role in preventing torture through reducing the use of pretrial detention. Thus, DIGNITY cooperates closely with prosecutors in several countries.


Torture has been called ‘the mother of all human rights violations’. As long as a country practices or tolerates torture, people will be reluctant to speak, assemble and participate in the political life. Stopping torture is the first step towards improving human rights in general.

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