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Implementing OPCAT: Experiences from South East Europe


Thursday, April 16, 2009
OPCAT Seminar, MontenegroOn 22-23 April the OSCE Mission to Montenegro and OSCE-ODIHR hosted a seminar on the OPCAT in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica - the first ever pan-Balkan exchange on the subject. The event brought together national actors from all six countries of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, all of which have now ratified the instrument.

 

Date:
22 - 23 April 2009
Place:
Podgorica, Montenegro
Purpose:
To promote an exchange of experiences and practices concerning the implementation of the OPCAT in South-East Europe.
Partners:

OSCE Mission to Montenegro

OSCE-ODIHR

Activities:

On 22-23 April the OSCE Mission to Montenegro and OSCE-ODIHR hosted a two-day pan-Balkan seminar on the OPCAT in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica. The event brought together national actors from all six countries of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, all of which have now ratified the instrument. The discussion was widened with the participation of representatives from neighbouring European countries such as Albania, Austria, Denmark and Estonia. In total, some 50 persons attended the exchange.

The seminar also examined the inter-relationships between NPMs and the SPT and the CPT. Dr Marija Definis Gojanovich, who is a member of both monitoring bodies, attended the event in order to address this matter.

The April seminar represented the first ever pan-Balkan exchange on the OPCAT.

Outcome:

Although there is an extremely high rate of ratification of the OPCAT in the Balkan region, to date only Albania and Slovenia have functioning NPMs. While Slovenia has chosen to use an Ombudsperson-civil society hybrid model as its NPM, Albania has designated the former body as its national mechanism. To date, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have yet to put in place such bodies despite the fact that the one-year deadline for some of the countries has long passed. It is therefore hoped that the exchange in Podgorica was of particular assistance to this latter group of states.

The APT also attended the two-day meeting and fed its expertise into these national processes. In recent years the organization has been involved in national discussions in Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

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