The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture entered into force on 22 June 2006. It establishes a Sub-Committee for the Prevention of Torture that has authority to visit places of detention and to assess the conditions of that detention as a way to reduce the incidence of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Additionally, States parties are required to set up complementary national preventive mechanisms. This article explores both how these mechanisms established under the Optional Protocol could operate in the context of the detention of refugees and/or asylum-seekers, which is an increasingly common occurrence in many parts of the world, as well as whether they add value to existing international mechanisms that are already available in this field. It examines the purported applicability of the Optional Protocol to four refugee/asylum situations, namely detention at airports and other border zones; immigration (or administrative) detention, including semi-open (or semi-closed) asylum centres; closed refugee camps; and extraterritorial processing or holding centres. Reviewing definitional, jurisdictional, and practical issues that may impact on the success or otherwise of these new preventive mechanisms, this article concludes by making a number of recommendations to aid their work in the refugee/asylum context.