The Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment - commonly known as the Istanbul Protocol provides a set of internationally recognized, practical guidelines for establishing medical evidence that can be used in court to prove allegations of torture. Such guidelines are crucial given that most torture methods are often designed to have maximum impact while leaving minimum detectable signs.
In essence, what the Istanbul Protocol does is to equip medical doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists with a tool to objectively determine whether a person's claim that he or she has been tortured can be medically verified. A major asset of this tool is that it enables the detection of physical and mental signs of torture even long after the abuse has occurred. More-over, the Protocol provides legal professionals with clear guidelines on how to conduct torture-related proceedings, including how to present and consider forensic evidence.
" The striking disparity between the absolute prohibition of torture and its prevalence in the world today demonstrates the need for States to identify and implement effective measures to protect individuals from torture and ill-treatment. This manual was developed to enable States to address one of the most fundamental concerns in protecting individuals from torture - effective documentation. Such documentation brings evidence of torture and ill-treatment to light so that perpetrators may be held accountable for their actions and the interests of justice may be served ."
From the Introduction of the " Istanbul Protocol"
Contact person: Sandrina Speh Vujadinovic