Kick-off for Torture Prevention Ambassadors in the Asia Pacific
Nine commissioners and senior staff members from National Human Rights Institutions in Australia, South Korea, Maldives, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines and Timor Leste have been selected as Torture Prevention Ambassadors for the Asia Pacific region.
Together with our long term partner Asia Pacific Forum (APF), the APT launched in August a call for applications from senior representatives of National Human Rights Institutions in the Asia Pacific. Applicants were asked to design and implement innovative torture prevention projects in their countries. In a competitive selection process, nine Torture Prevention Ambassadors were invited to participate in the project.
The Torture Prevention Ambassadors and their institutions have identified one or several key issues that need to be addressed in the area of torture prevention in their country. During a kick-off meeting in Sydney 10 – 13 November 2014 the group gathered to discuss ideas and refine their project plans.
- Investigating the viability of the National Preventive Mechanism visiting non-traditional places of detention;
- following up on recommendations from a national public inquiry into children in immigration detention;
- instigating a structured national dialogue on torture prevention involving all key actors;
- developing a Training of Trainers for law enforcement officials; and
- building the capacity of the NHRI to perform the role of National Preventive Mechanism under the OPCAT.
More details of each project will be presented on our website in early 2015.
Inspire future actions
The overall objective is to bring about lasting impact in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in the participating countries. The Torture Prevention Ambassadors will now work over the next 18 months to implement and evaluate their projects. The progress of the projects will be shared at the 20th APF Annual Meeting and Conference, in Mongolia in August 2015. The outcomes and lessons learned will then be widely disseminated from 2016, in the region and beyond, to inspire other National Human Rights Institutions to develop further torture prevention actions.
The Torture Prevention Ambassadors project is funded by the European Union, as part of a three year APF project to strengthen the capacity of National Human Rights Institutions in the Asia Pacific to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment.