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Central America: Promoting OPCAT Ratification and Implementation


Tuesday, July 28, 2009
A national campaign to promote OPCAT ratification in Panama - one of the few countries in Latin America not to have ratified - is being carried out by the Ombudspersons Office of Panama. The APT was invited to participate as a panelist in a two day seminar entitled 'Regional Seminar on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty: Reflections about the Implications of OPCAT Ratification and Implementation'. The seminar took place in Panama City on 30 and 31 July and was organized by the Ombudspersons Office of Panama and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights within the context of the Ombudsperson Network of Central America.

 

Date:
30 - 31 July 2009
Place:
Panama
Purpose:

A national campaign to promote OPCAT ratification in Panama – one of the few countries in Latin America not to have ratified – is being carried out by the Ombudspersons Office (Defensoría del Pueblo) of Panama. In this context, the institution is promoting debate about the issue within the Ombudspersons Office Network of Central America (Consejo Centroamericano de Procuradores de Derechos Humanos). In Central America, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua have already ratified the OPCAT and the Ombudspersons Offices have a role to play in implementation, whether they are part of the National Preventive Mechanism (as in Costa Rica) or to collaborate with a new institution (as in Honduras).

General purpose:

  • Promote OPCAT ratification and implementation in Central America.

Specific objectives:

  • Promote OPCAT ratification by Panama;
  • Facilitate a dialogue amongst Ombudspersons Offices of Central America about their role with respect to the OPCAT;
  • Analyze the benefits and the challenges of NHRI taking on the role of NPMs. 
  • Provide relevant substantive input, including on comparative NPM processes and options.
Activities:

The APT has been invited to participate as a panelist in a two day seminar entitled 'Regional Seminar on the Human Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty: Reflections about the Implications of OPCAT Ratification and Implementation'. The seminar, taking place in Panama City on 30 and 31 July, is organized by the Ombudspersons Office (Defensoría del Pueblo) of Panama and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR) within the context of the Ombudsperson Network of Central America (Consejo Centroamericano de Procuradores de Derechos Humanos). In addition to the heads and staff of the Ombudspersons Offices of Central America (Belice, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama), respected regional experts, including from relevant UN agencies, will participate.

The APT will take the opportunity of its presence in Panama to meet with relevant officials in order to promote a prompt signature and ratification of the OPCAT.

Expected Outcome:
  • Greater awareness about the OPCAT by Ombudspersons Offices in Central America;
  • Greater clarity about the specific role of Ombudspersons Offices in Central America about the OPCAT;
  • Steps forward for the ratification of the OPCAT by Panama.
Contact Persons:

Audrey Olivier, APT OPCAT Coordinator

Vincent Ploton, APT Fundraising Officer

Claudia Gerez, APT Americas Programme Officer

 

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