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CAT status Status under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment State Party since 3 January, 1994. State Party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention (OPCAT) since 5 December, 2017
Reviewed 2017 Read review

Sri Lanka

At a glance

Despite the end of the internal armed conflict in 2009, impunity still prevails in Sri Lanka. The country has not yet established a judicial mechanism with special counsel nor concluded its ongoing investigations into certain emblematic cases of violations committed during the conflict. As long as impunity persists for the long list of crimes under international law, the country will continue to struggle to eradicate the systemic human rights violations on its territory. It is worrying to observe the recurrence of hostilities and violence against ethnic and religious minorities.

Thousands of cases of enforced disappearances have remained unsolved, despite the authorities’ increased engagement to clarify the fate of those missing. In 2017, the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) found that the investigation at the secret detention place located at the Navy Camp in Trincomalee, where many disappearances and torture-related offences allegedly occurred, was characterised by its lack of progress, impartiality, and effectiveness. There are also consistent reports of harassment and the arbitrary detention of journalists and human rights defenders, which impede the effective reporting of torture and disappearance claims. The violence against these groups is not investigated and prosecuted.

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