Torture in  [Iceland]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Iceland]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Iceland]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Iceland]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                


Iceland's Scandinavian-type social-market economy combines a capitalist structure and free-market principles with an extensive welfare system, including generous housing subsidies. Prior to the 2008 crisis, Iceland had achieved high growth, low unemployment, and a remarkably even distribution of income.

A protracted recession is expected in 2009 and 2010 with GDP likely to contract and unemployment likely to surpass 10%.

Iceland's coalition government collapsed in January 2009 following protests over growing joblessness and losses to personal savings.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Iceland

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Iceland.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Iceland

Strasbourg, 5 December 2013  -- [Report URL ]

[accessed 23 Jan 2014]

[accessed 27 July 2017]

Most of the persons with recent experience of police custody who were interviewed by the CPT’s delegation stated that they had been treated in a correct manner. The conclusion reached by the Committee after its previous visits – namely that persons detained by the police in Iceland run little risk of being ill-treated – remains valid. As for conditions of detention in the police establishments visited, they were generally adequate.

As regards prisons, the CPT received hardly any allegations of deliberate physical ill-treatment of prisoners by staff. That said, the Committee highlights in its report a number of principles and minimum standards which should be complied with on those rare occasions when means of restraint have to be applied to a prisoner.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/ISL/CO/3 (2008)

[accessed 1 March 2013]

Definition of torture and criminalization

5. While noting the explanations provided by the State party in its second and third periodic reports and in the written replies to the list of issues with regard to the interpretation of the definition of torture and its use in domestic criminal legislation, the Committee regrets that no change has taken place with regard to the State party’s position not to fully incorporate the definition of torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention, nor to incorporate torture as a specific crime into domestic criminal legislation (arts. 1 and 4).

The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation, namely that the definition of torture according to article 1 of the Convention be introduced into Icelandic criminal legislation in order to ensure that all elements of torture are included, and that torture be defined as a specific offence in domestic laws.  The Committee also draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 2 on the implementation of article 2

Solitary confinement

9. The Committee is concerned about the reported cases of frequent and excessive use of solitary confinement for persons in custody (art. 11).

The State party should investigate promptly the issue of excessive use of solitary confinement and adopt effective measures to prevent such practice.

Human Rights Reports » 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 25, 2009

[accessed 31 January 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The constitution and law prohibit such practices, and there were no reports that government officials employed them.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. 

Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Iceland",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Iceland]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Iceland]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Iceland]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Iceland]  [other countries]