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OPCAT Promotion in Japan


Thursday, October 1, 2009
Promoting OPCAT in JapanFrom 5 to 7 October, an APT delegation travelled to Tokyo to promote the strengthening of initiatives to prevent torture and other ill-treatment in detention, in particular through ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture. Travelling with the APT team was Silvia Casale, member of the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture, who is also former Chairperson of that Committee and of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. This was the first time the OPCAT was discussed in such a forum in Japan. It was also the first visit of the APT to Japan.

 

Date:
5 - 7 October 2009
Place:
Japan
Purpose:

To promote the strengthening of initiatives to prevent torture and other ill-treatment in detention, in particular through ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT). Travelling with the APT team was Silvia Casale, member of the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture, who is also former Chairperson of that Committee and of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.

During its visit, the delegation participated in a number of events including a symposium on the OPCAT and the role of NHRIs and a meeting with Parliamentarians and civil society, both organised by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.  A reception held by the British Embassy provided the opportunity to discuss torture prevention and the OPCAT with government officials and members of the diplomatic community.

Partners:

Japan Federation of Bar Associations

Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions

Activities:
  • Participated in a symposium on the OPCAT and the role of NHRIs organized by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (5 October 2009).
  • Participated in a meeting with parliamentarians and civil society on the OPCAT organized by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (6 October).
  • Attended a reception held by the British Embassy, on the APT’s work and the OPCAT (6 October).
  • Met with key stakeholders including government officials and civil society representatives.
Outcome:
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of the OPCAT among key stakeholders, including government representatives, parliamentarians and members of civil society.
  • Increased will to ratify the OPCAT among key government representatives.
Unique Aspects:
This was the first time the OPCAT was discussed in such a forum in Japan. It was also the first visit of the APT to Japan.
Next Steps:
The initiatives in Tokyo represent the start of a process which should include further discussions involving a broad range of actors, regarding the significance of OPCAT ratification for Japan and the best options for implementation. APT will seek to support this process.
Documents:

British Embassy Web Article

Briefing Note - APT Mission to Japan: English  Japanese

The OPCAT Frequently Asked Questions leaflet has been translated into Japanese and was disseminated.

Contact Person:
Jem Stevens, APT Asia-Pacific Programme Officer
Promoting OPCAT in Japan

 

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