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All forms of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment are prohibited by human rights law.

The Ill-Treatment & Torture Data Collection Project codes data on four concepts using Amnesty International documents: Incidence, Perpetrators, Motive, and Judicial Response. Unlike other data on torture, which use the country-year as the unit of analysis, the project uses the individual allegation as the unit of observation.

The CIRI Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognized human rights, including the right to be free of torture and ill-treatment for 202 countries, annually from 1981 to 2011. It is designed to test theories about the causes and consequences of human rights violations, and assist policy makers who seek to estimate the human rights effects of a wide variety of institutional changes and public policies including democratization, economic aid, military aid, structural adjustment, and humanitarian intervention.

The Association for the Prevention of Torture examined torture and prevention mechanisms in 16 countries over a 30-year period using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques to determine that torture prevention measures do indeed work.