Regional workshop on the OPCAT gathered African ombuds institutions
This week, heads of ombuds institutions from around Africa met in Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, to discuss the shared challenge of torture prevention on the continent.
Organised by the African Ombudsman and Mediator Association, the IOI and the African Ombudsman Research Center, in partnership with APT, the two day workshop was an opportunity for participants to share good practices on ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol (OPCAT), and the role that their institutions can play as part of a coherent national strategy.
At the end of the conference, participants adopted a 10-point outcome declaration. The Grand Bassam Declaration includes a strong commitment from the 18 participating institutions to make torture prevention and good administration of justice a priority within the framework of their mandates as ombudsman and mediators. Among other things, the participants committed to advocating for the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol, in partnership with national stakeholders, including NHRIs and civil society. Those gathered also committed to cooperating with national, regional and international partners on joint initiatives linked to the 25th of April – the African Day for Pre-Trial Detention – and the 26th of June – the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.