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European NPM Project - Spanish Workshop


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In the framework of the Council of Europe 'European NPM Project' on setting up an active network of National Preventive Mechanisms against torture and ill-treatment, an onsite exchange of experience was organized in Madrid from Tuesday 2nd to Friday 5th November. This event was organized jointly by the Council of Europe, the Association for the Prevention of Torture and the Spanish NPM.

Date: 02 - 05 November 2010
Place: Madrid, Spain
Purpose: In the framework of the Council of Europe (CoE) “European NPM Project” on setting up an active network of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM) against torture and ill-treatment, an onsite exchange of experience was organized in Madrid from Tuesday 2nd to Friday 5th November. This event was organized jointly by the Council of Europe, the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the Spanish NPM.

The workshop gathered 15 participants from the Ombudsman Office ‘Defensor Del Pueblo’. This included 6 permanent members of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM); 9 members from various departments in the Office (Security and Justice Area; Migrations and Equal Treatment Area and Health and Social Policy Area) and 5 international experts from the United Nations Subcommittee on Torture Prevention (SPT), former members of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the Council of Europe and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).

The overall aim of this four day workshop was to foster an exchange of practice and cooperation between the Defensor Del Pueblo (NPM mandate holder), SPT members, former CPT, APT and the CoE in order to build and enhance capacity to carry out detention monitoring for the prevention of torture.

The specific objectives were to:
  • exchange on the practice of preventive monitoring, particularly with regards to the methodology of conducting visits and following-up on monitoring visits
  • prepare and carry out a preventive monitoring visit as part of the exercise
  • debrief on the findings and methodology of the ‘visiting exercise’.
Activities: The workshop was divided into 2 parts:

Part one (day one) focused on the overall context of the NPM mandate and requirements.

Part two (days two, three and four) was the practical application of detention monitoring with a one day visit to a place of detention by the host NPM’s permanent members and members from various departments in the Office and international experts (SPT, former CPT, CoE and APT) observing. A debriefing on the methodology of the ‘visiting exercise’ followed.
Outcome: This experience was relevant and useful in providing for an exchange between the NPM and international experts on the implementation of the NPM mandate and the methodology used to conduct preventive visits.

The workshop also allowed the participants to reflect on their practice and identify some key issues that could be addressed in order to further improve the NPM work.

The project enables a close cooperation between the APT and all the Council of Europe member States including the NPMs over a two year period minimum.
Further Information: More information on the European NPM Project
More information on the Spanish NPM
Contact Person: Tanya Norton, APT Detention Monitoring Adviser
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