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Senegal: The Establishment of an Effective National Preventive Mechanism


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Senegal, January 2009From 12 to 17 January the APT visited Senegal and met with various national actors including parliamentarians, government officials and civil society organizations to discuss the draft NPM law adopted by the cabinet on 30 November 2008. During these meetings, held jointly with Amnesty International, the APT highlighted the shortcomings of the draft law with regard to the OPCAT requirements. The joint APT/AIS delegation suggested the incorporation of substantial amendments, and submitted a document to this effect to Parliament and to the Ministry of Justice with the objective of improving the quality of the draft law.

 

Date:
12 - 17 January 2009
Place:
Dakar, Senegal
Purpose:

To support Senegal in establishing an effective National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), as required under the OPCAT, by:

  • meeting with Parliamentarians and Government officials to advocate for the amendment of the November 2008 Draft NPM Law and for its quick adoption by Parliament.
  • providing advice to relevant actors towards the good functioning and effectiveness of the future NPM.
  • meeting with civil society organizations and other relevant actors to think ahead and discuss strategies for the good functioning and effectiveness of the future NPM.
Partners:
Amnesty International Senegal
Activities:

From 12 to 17 January 2009 the APT Africa Programme Officer visited Senegal and met with various national actors including parliamentarians, government officials and civil society organizations to discuss the draft NPM law adopted by the Cabinet (Conseil des Ministres) on 30 November 2008.

During these meetings, held jointly with Amnesty International - Senegal (AIS), the APT highlighted the shortcomings of the draft law with regard to the OPCAT requirements. The joint APT/AIS delegation suggested substantial amendments to be incorporated in the draft law. Both organizations submitted a joint document to Parliament and to the Ministry of Justice where they proposed inter alia the following amendments to improve the quality of the draft law in line with the OPCAT criteria: to change the title of the foreseen NPM from 'Observatory for Places of Deprivation of Liberty' to 'Inspector General of Places of Deprivation of Liberty'; to integrate the idea of continuity of the NPM staff and sustainability of the institution; to lift the restriction of NPM visits in cases of urgent grounds; and to ensure guarantees for financial independence and access to information. All interlocutors were receptive to the AIS/APT proposed amendments.

On 16 January 2009, a briefing meeting was organized for civil society organizations to update them on the ongoing lobbying and advocacy process. It was agreed that civil society should remain vigilant in the adoption of an NPM law in compliance with the OPCAT provisions. It was also suggested that once the law is adopted, that the APT and AIS should be ready to propose a draft decree on the implementation of this law (décret d'application) - as that stage is also important in the Senegalese law system.

Outcome:
The development and submission to Parliament of a proposal for the amendment of the government's draft NPM law.

According to information from partners in Senegal, the draft NPM law was discussed and adopted by Parliament on 27 January 2009, taking into account most of the APT/AIS proposed amendments.
Next Steps:
  • The adoption of the law by the Senate in the near future.
  • APT/AIS are to propose a draft decree on the implementation of the NPM law.
  • APT will continue providing technical assistance and advice to relevant stakeholders.
  • Possible cooperation between the APT and the future NPM, to whom the APT could provide expertise and technical support including training on issues such as monitoring places of detention.
Contact Person:
Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero, APT Africa Programme Officer
Senegal, January 2009
Senegal, January 2009

 

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