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Georgia's proposed National Preventive Mechanism


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On 27 March, a public meeting was held at the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia (Ombudsman) to discuss amendments initiated to the Law on the Public Defender that envisage designation of this office as the National Preventive Mechanism under the OPCAT. Recommendations were sought from the participants regarding Georgia's future mechanism. The Public Defender presented his vision for a new mechanism to prevent torture in Georgia, including the potential role of civil society.

 

Date: 27 March 2008
Place:
Tbilisi, Georgia
Partners:

Penal Reform International's Tbilisi Regional Office

Georgian branch of the Global Initiative on Psychiatry

Public Defender of Georgia  

Purpose: To assess Georgia's proposed National Preventive Mechanism under the OPCAT.
Activities:

On 27 March 2008, a public meeting was held at the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia (Ombudsman) to discuss amendments initiated to the Law on the Public Defender that envisage designation of this office as the NPM under the OPCAT.

The Public Defender, Sozar Subari, presented his vision for a new mechanism to prevent torture in Georgia, outlining three possible scenarios regarding Georgia's NPM, one which foresees a potential role for civil society. However it is unclear whether there exists political will on the part of the authorities to advance such a model. During the meeting recommendations were sought from the participants regarding Georgia's future mechanism.

Georgia was the first country of the former Soviet Union to ratify the OPCAT. Ratification obliged the Georgia State to consult widely in order to have an NPM in place by 22 June 2007 that conforms to stringent standards of independence, professionalism and effectiveness. A number of public consultations have taken place in the context of projects funded by the European Union and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Discussions have also taken place at government level, in particular in the Inter-Agency Anti-Torture Council set up under Presidential Order in June 2007.

Outcome: 

The meeting, organized with the Ombudsman's Office by Penal Reform International’s Tbilisi Regional Office, Global Initiative on Psychiatry and the APT, took place in the context of a European Union (EU) funded three-year project 'Prevention of Torture in Georgia'.

This project, reflecting the high priority placed by the EU on protection of human rights and the fight against torture, seeks to assist the Georgian government in implementing its torture prevention commitments under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The Government has included implementation of OPCAT in its 2007 strategy for implementation of Priority Area 1 in the ENP EU – Georgia Action Plan. The co-sponsors will therefore continue to monitor the implementation of the instrument in practice throughout 2008.

Documents: 

Georgian translation of the APT publication, National Human Rights Commissions and Ombudspersons' Offices / Ombudsmen as National Preventive Mechanisms. 

Agenda

Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer

 

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