APT and Washington University Promote Enhanced Collaboration Between Bodies Visiting Places of Detention
On Friday 18 March, the APT and American University Washington College of Law organised a conference addressing the crucial role of visits to detention facilities around the world in ensuring that safeguards for detainees are enforced and vulnerable groups protected. On the previous day, an international peer-to-peer exchange focused on collaboration and sharing of working methods amongst international and regional mechanisms.
Washington gathering of international and regional detention monitoring experts
On Friday, March 18, APT and American University Washington College of Law organised a day-long conference addressing the crucial role of visits to detention facilities around the world in ensuring that safeguards for detainees are enforced and vulnerable groups protected.
Visits to places of detention play a critical role in helping states comply with their international human rights obligations. Rapporteurships, treaty organs, and other bodies working nationally and internationally are entrusted with carrying out this key function and have developed a rich body of principles and practices. Yet there have been few formal opportunities to share experiences and learn from each other in order to enhance efficiency and avoid duplication. This conference convened top experts including mandate holders, policymakers, lawyers, NGOs, scholars, and practitioners from around the world to analyze key challenges confronting detention visits today and establish channels for enhancing collaboration.
On the previous day (March 17), APT and the Washington College of Law organised an international peer-to-peer exchange on enhancing visits to places of detention through an improved collaboration and the sharing of working methods amongst representatives of the universal and regional systems, namely the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Committee against Torture, the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the Special Rapporteur on Prison's and Conditions of Detention in Africa, and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa. Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also attended this private working session. All participants agreed on the need to further strengthen the ties between mechanisms and to improve synergies regarding planning and follow-up of the visits.
On March 16, representatives of the United Nations anti-torture mechanisms and the IACHR Office of the Rapporteur on the Right of Persons Deprived of Liberty held a meeting in Washington to address grave problem of torture and overcrowding in correctional facilities in the region. IACHR Press Release: English Spanish