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Philippines: Torture Prevention Initiatives


Thursday, September 2, 2010

To support the implementation of initiatives to prevent torture in the Philippines, including the ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), the APT will visit the Philippines from 6 to 8 September 2010. The APT will take the opportunity of its visit to discuss a draft bill to establish a National Preventive Mechanism, which was prepared by a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations.

 

Date: 6 - 8 September 2010
Place: Manila, Philippines
Purpose: To support the implementation of initiatives to prevent torture in the Philippines, including the ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
Partners: Balay Rehabilitation Centre
Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims
Activities: The Philippines has made substantial progress towards ratifying the OPCAT, starting with H.E. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s signature of the instrument in April 2008. In December 2009, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved ratification of the OPCAT.

The APT has been engaging with actors in the Philippines on torture prevention for a number of years. In September 2008, the APT took part in a seminar organised by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT of Copenhagen), and the Balay Rehabilitation Centre to examine the implementation of the OPCAT in the Philippines.

The APT will visit the Philippines from 6 to 8 September 2010 to build on those joint efforts and meet with key stakeholders, including government authorities, senators, the Commission on Human Rights and civil society organisations. The APT will take the opportunity of its visit to discuss a draft bill to establish a National Preventive Mechanism, which was prepared by a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations.
Expected Outcome: Before the end of 2010, the APT expects the Philippines to ratify the OPCAT and start putting into place implementing measures.

The APT is convinced that when the Philippines ratifies and implements the OPCAT, the incidents and risk of torture and ill-treatment will be significantly reduced and the Philippines will provide a positive example for other neighbouring countries to follow.
Documentation: APT Delegation to the Philippines (Briefing Note)
The OPCAT Campaign in the Philippines
Contact Persons: Mark Thomson, APT Secretary General
Audrey Olivier, OPCAT Coordinator
Jem Stevens, Asia-Pacific Programme Officer
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