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Promoting OPCAT Ratification and Implementation in Togo


Monday, June 15, 2009

Togo, June 2009The APT and the OHCHR Togo co-organized a two-day seminar on 'OPCAT ratification and perspective of its implementation in Togo' which took place from 16 to 17 June 2009 in Lomé.

 

 

Date:
15 - 19 June 2009
Place:
Lomé, Togo
Purpose:

To promote a prompt ratification of the OPCAT by Togo and, in the perspective of its implementation, launch national discussions on possible options for national preventive mechanism.

Specific objectives:

  • To raise awareness of the OPCAT and the concept of preventive monitoring amongst key stakeholders.
  • To enable key stakeholders to understand the concept and novelty of national preventive mechanisms, through inter alia the sharing of international experiences on the implementation of the OPCAT.
  • To analyse the national situation as well as challenges and advantages of the implementation of the OPCAT in Togo.
  • To establish a road map to prepare the perspective of future implementation of the OPCAT if Togo ratifies.
Partners:
OHCHR Togo
Background:
In 2008, the APT participated in two seminars organized by the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) in Togo. The APT took those opportunities to discuss the issue of prevention of torture, including the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, with key stakeholders. A first meeting took place in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Togo (OHCHR - Togo) on 24 October 2008. It gathered representatives from the various Ministries, Police, Parliament, National Human Rights Commission and civil society organisations. At its conclusion it was recommended to follow-up with, inter alia the organisation of a national seminar which would discuss further strategies for OPCAT ratification and effective implementation.
Activities:

The APT and the OHCHR Togo co-organized a two-day seminar on 'OPCAT ratification and perspective of its implementation in Togo' which took place from 16 to 17 June 2009 in Lomé, Togo. Approximately 30 representatives from relevant Ministries, judiciary, human rights agencies, parliament, police forces, the National Human Rights Commission and civil society organisations participated in the national discussions.

The APT also took the opportunity to meet bilaterally with key national actors including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, Minister of Human Rights, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights as well as the National Human Rights Commission in order to promote a prompt ratification of the OPCAT in Togo.

Outcome:
  • Concrete proposals for the designation and establishment of the NPM emerged from the national seminar.
  • A road map on further steps towards prompt OPCAT ratification and the establishment of the NPM was adopted.
  • A working group was established to follow-up on the ratification process and implement the road map. It held its first meeting on 18 June 2009.
Next Steps:
The APT will continue to support national actors and to cooperate with the OHCHR Togo towards effective torture prevention in Togo, including OPCAT ratification and implementation.
Documents:

Press Release (French)

Draft Programme (French)

Seminar Recommendations (French)

Contact Persons:

Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero, APT Africa Programme Officer

Audrey Olivier, APT OPCAT Coordinator

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