The Commission verifies the conditions of persons deprived of their liberty on a regular basis through regular visits to places in which persons are or may be detained.
The Commission’s observations and recommendations are summarized in reports, which are submitted to the competent authorities. The purpose of this cooperation with the authorities is to improve the treatment and conditions of detained persons and to prevent torture and other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
However, the Commission is also actively involved in the law-making process and puts forward proposals and comments on the current laws or bills. It also publishes an annual report, which it submits to the Federal Council and Parliament.
The National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (NCPT) is composed of twelve members appointed for a four-year term. Its members have extensive experience and the necessary professional and technical skills and expertise in the fields of medicine, psychiatry, law (in particular, criminal law) or intercultural relations.
Both sexes and all linguistic regions are equally represented.
The Commission comprises a plenary meeting and a committee. It further has a secretariat.
The plenary meeting is held five times a year, and the committee meets with the secretariat once a month if possible.
The Commission’s annual budget is SFr.360.000.-. In particular, this contribution covers the costs of the secretariat and the visits of several days to all places of detention.