Constitutional Provisions

Article 58 of the 1940 Constitution of the Republic of Cuba assures freedom and "inviolability of persons" 

to all those who live in the country. Nobody can be arrested, except in the manner, with the guarantees and in the cases indicated by law. The person who has been arrested or [who is a] prisoner is inviolable in his personal integrity.

The right to life is not explicitly protected under the Constitution. A new Constitution has been elaborated and may be adopted in 2019.

Under Article 54 of the existing Constitution:

The rights of assembly, demonstration and association are exercised by workers, both manual and intellectual; peasants; women; students; and other sectors of the working people....

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)     Signatory
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 N/A
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) State Party
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints No
CAT Optional Protocol 1 Not party
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Not party

Regional Treaties

Adherence to Regional Human Rights Treaties
1948 Charter of the Organization of American States Not party
1969 Inter-American Convention on Human Rights Not party
Competence of Inter-American Court on Human Rights N/A

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

There exists no formal legislation establishing a police force in Cuba and there appears to be no legal provisions governing the use of force in arrest.

Police Oversight

There appears to be no external independent oversight body for the police in Cuba. 

 In 2017, in its Concluding Observations on Cuba, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances regretted  that Cuba had not established an independent national human rights institution compliant with the Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles).



In its 2012 Concluding Observations on Cuba, the Committee against Torture stated that it 

remains seriously concerned about the continuing reports of arbitrary detention for short periods, the use of ambiguous criminal concepts such as “pre-criminal social dangerousness” to justify the imposition of security measures, restrictions on freedom of movement, intrusive surveillance, physical aggression and other acts of intimidation and harassment allegedly committed by officers of the National Revolutionary Police and members of State security bodies.


In its 2015 Annual Report, the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights criticised abuses by the Cuban Revolutionary National Police, in particular against political opponents, journalists, and LGBTI persons.


1940 Constitution of the Republic of Cuba

Committee on Enforced Disappearances Concluding Observations on Cuba (2017)

Committee against Torture Concluding Observations (2012)

InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights 2015 Annual Report