In the present report, submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 62/148, the Special Rapporteur addresses issues of special concern to him, in particular overall trends and developments with respect to questions falling within his mandate.
The Special Rapporteur draws the attention of the General Assembly to the situation of persons with disabilities, who are frequently subjected to neglect, severe forms of restraint and seclusion, as well as physical, mental and sexual violence. He is concerned that such practices, perpetrated in public institutions, as well as in the private sphere, remain invisible and are not recognized as torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The recent entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol provides a timely opportunity to review the anti-torture framework in relation to persons with disabilities. By reframing violence and abuse perpetrated against persons with disabilities as torture or a form of ill-treatment, victims and advocates can be afforded stronger legal protection and redress for violations of human rights.
In section IV, the Special Rapporteur examines the use of solitary confinement. The practice has a clearly documented negative impact on mental health, and therefore should be used only in exceptional circumstances or when absolutely necessary for criminal investigation purposes. In all cases, solitary confinement should be used for the shortest period of time. The Special Rapporteur draws attention to the Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement, annexed to the report, as a useful tool to promote the respect and protection of the rights of detainees.