Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CAT)

CAT is an international human rights treaty adopted in 1984. The UK agreed to follow it in 1988.

By following CAT, the UK agrees to prevent acts of torture in connection with activities that include:

  • returning, expelling or extraditing someone to another country where there are real grounds to believe he or she will face torture

  • arrest, detention and imprisonment

  • interrogation

  • the training of police (civil or military), medical staff, public officials and anyone else who may be involved in the arrest, detention and questioning of a person


Human rights tracker

Search our human rights tracker to find all UN recommendations for CAT and other treaties. The CAT page has specific information on how it is monitored and if the UK is meeting international standards.

How the UK is doing

The UN last examined how well the UK is implementing CAT and published recommendations in May 2019. These included:

  • protecting people seeking asylum, victims of trafficking and exploitation, patients, detainees and people who are restrained

  • preventing violence against women and girls, child sexual abuse and hate crime

  • responding to allegations of British involvement in the mistreatment of overseas detainees

  • ensuring people who are at risk of ill-treatment can get legal help

  • reducing overcrowding and improving conditions in prisons

  • developing our counter-terrorism strategy

  • incorporating CAT into UK domestic law

Last updated: 25 Feb 2021