Work initially commenced on this project in early 2006, and is expected to continue over the next three years. Participants in the project include the Great Britain China Centre (London), the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, and the University of Essex Human Rights Centre. In China, the Renmin University Research Center of Procedural System and Judicial Reform (Beijing) is also involved in the project. The project is funded by the European Commission.

The goal of the pro­ject is to re­duce the use of tor­ture and in­hu­man treat­ment by and through the vari­ous mech­an­isms of law en­force­ment. This goal is to be fostered by the in­ter­de­pend­ent nature of the re­search, the use of fur­ther edu­ca­tion and vo­ca­tion­al train­ing pro­grams, and the im­ple­ment­a­tion of law re­forms and ex­tern­al (civil-so­ci­ety) con­trol or­gans in the People's Re­pub­lic of China. Par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion will be drawn to the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion against Tor­ture and the op­tion­al sup­ple­ment­ary pro­tocol. The em­phas­is of the re­search, as well as the fur­ther edu­ca­tion and vo­ca­tion­al train­ing pro­grams, is to be placed on state in­sti­tu­tions where the risk of tor­ture is par­tic­u­larly pre­val­ent. In par­tic­u­lar, this con­cerns po­lice cus­tody and in­ter­rog­a­tion, al­though the pro­sec­u­tion and ad­min­is­trat­ive and/or pre­vent­ive po­lice sys­tem(s) are also to be in­cluded.

In­di­vidu­al com­par­at­ive, em­pir­ic­al, and sec­ond­ary ana­lyt­ic­al leg­al re­search will be car­ried out with re­gard to the im­ple­ment­a­tion of pre­vent­at­ive tor­ture meas­ures. Vo­ca­tion­al train­ing courses are to be offered to po­lice of­ficers and pub­lic pro­sec­utors, as well lec­tur­ers at po­lice academies and uni­versit­ies. Field stud­ies will en­able Chinese aca­dem­ics, politi­cians, po­lice and leg­al of­ficers to as­cer­tain a con­crete in­sight in­to the tor­ture pre­ven­tion mod­els of European coun­tries. In ad­di­tion, me­dia cam­paigns are planned to draw at­ten­tion to the use of tor­ture, the res­ults of the aca­dem­ic re­search work and the in­tro­duc­tion of the op­tion­al sup­ple­ment­ary pro­tocol.

It is the in­ten­tion of the pro­ject that a re­search re­port be pub­lished. This re­port will con­tain sug­ges­tions for leg­al changes – in par­tic­u­lar re­lat­ing the strength­en­ing of pro­tect­ive meas­ures dur­ing in­ter­rog­a­tion. These sug­ges­tions are to be sub­mit­ted to China’s highest le­gis­lat­ive or­gan, the Le­gis­lat­ive Com­mis­sion of the Na­tion­al People’s Con­gress. Like­wise, an un­der­stand­ing of the need to pre­vent tor­ture by the po­lice and oth­er ju­di­cial in­sti­tu­tions is also to be sharpened. Fur­ther­more, pi­lot pro­jects are planned to help im­ple­ment anti-tor­ture mech­an­isms in se­lec­ted po­lice sta­tions and pris­ons. Lastly, a joint Eng­lish-Chinese pub­lic­a­tion cov­er­ing in­ter­na­tion­al hu­man rights stand­ards and their im­ple­ment­a­tion is planned, which is, on the one hand, to be used in the fur­ther edu­ca­tion and vo­ca­tion­al train­ing pro­grams, and, on the oth­er, to ini­ti­ate a broad­er polit­ic­al and pub­lic de­bate con­cern­ing the pre­ven­tion of tor­ture.

The pro­ject cor­res­ponds with an im­port­ant pri­or­ity of the European Uni­on, namely to bring about a re­duc­tion in tor­ture through in­creas­ing polit­ic­al ac­cept­ance of the op­tion­al pro­tocol as well as a rais­ing of aware­ness as to the counter pro­duct­ive con­sequences of tor­ture prac­tices.

The pro­ject was fun­ded by the European Com­mis­sion.