Indonesia: Putting the OPCAT into Practice
From 17 to 19 November, the APT was in Jakarta, with the dual objective of discussing different models for NPMs with relevant national stakeholders, and of providing practical training on detention monitoring methodology for existing Indonesian visiting mechanisms and civil society. These two events were organised jointly with the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia (Komnas HAM), the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) and the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM).
Indonesian policy-makers have been paying a lot of attention to torture prevention strategies in recent years, notably thanks to the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Committee against Torture, whose recommendations, issued in 2007, called for greater transparency of places of detention and the development of an independent oversight mechanism with a nationwide coverage.
Although Indonesia had pledged to ratify the OPCAT by 2008 in its National Human Rights Action Plan, this process is likely to take longer before it comes to a positive conclusion. The campaign for the ratification of the OPCAT, spearheaded by the Working Group on Advocacy against Torture (Shadow Report), has been picking up speed. Komnas HAM has also done its share of lobbying. The Department for Foreign Affairs (DEPLU) has asked ELSAM and Komnas HAM to work on an academic draft aimed at defining the reasons why Indonesia should become party to a treaty.
Because most relevant officials are now familiar with the OPCAT, the 17 November 2008 conference on its implementation in Indonesia took the discussion to another level, and sought to look at the pros and cons of certain NPM models and identifying key challenges.
The detention monitoring workshop was scheduled for the following two days and brought together staff of Komnas HAM and Komnas Perempuan, as well as representatives from other visiting bodies such as the National Commission on Child Protection (KPAI) and NGOs with experience in detention monitoring. Two representatives from the Timor-Leste national human rights institution (Provedoria de Direitos Humanos e Justiça – PDHJ) also participated in this short course, and were able to share their distinct experience with their Indonesian counterparts.
Indonesia examines options for detention monitoring (Article on the Asia Pacific Forum Website)
Contact Person: Philippe Tremblay, APT Asia-Pacific Programme Officer