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Strengthening the Maldives NPM - 3rd Workshop


Friday, August 13, 2010

In the framework of a year and a half long 'building block approach' programme, a third workshop was organised from 16 - 19 August with the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of the Maldives and other relevant staff of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to strengthen the NPMs capacity to carry out its mandate effectively, in particular regarding detention monitoring methodology and reporting. Two training visits to juvenile centres were carried out.

Date: 16 - 19 August 2010
Place: Malé, Maldives
Purpose: To strengthen the capacity of the Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of the Maldives to carry out its mandate effectively, in particular regarding detention monitoring.
Activities: In the framework of a year and a half long 'building block approach' programme, a third workshop was organised from 16 - 19 August with the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of the Maldives and other relevant staff of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to strengthen the NPMs capacity to carry out its mandate effectively, in particular regarding detention monitoring methodology and reporting. Two training visits to juvenile centres were carried out.

This workshop represented the third and final phase in the APT’s ongoing support to the Maldives NPM during which the NPM analysed its own needs and undertook a process of strategic planning and capacity building. On 2 December 2008, HRCM and APT had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining the terms of the programme (2009-2010).

During the trip, the APT and HRCM started discussions on future cooperation. The APT is committed to continue supporting the NPM and other actors working to prevent torture both from Geneva as well as possibly in follow-up activities.

The APT also met with relevant stakeholders, including the Attorney General, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, UNDP, the Parliament (Majlis) secretariat and civil society to discuss torture prevention initiatives in the Maldives. One key issues discussed was the opportunity for introducing an offence of torture in domestic law, within the current process of legal reform. The UN Committee against Torture systematically recommends states parties to the UNCAT to criminalise torture in their domestic legislation.
Outcome: The workshop gathered 11 participants including the four NPM members and six other members of the HRCM.

The specific objectives were:

1.    To strengthen participants understanding of the overall strategy and objectives of the NPM of the Maldives as a unit of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC);  

2.    To review and identify achievements in the implementation of the strategic planning and objectives;

3.    To build knowledge and skills on detention monitoring particularly in the area of monitoring places of detention for juveniles;

4.    To discuss and analyse the follow-up on monitoring visits, in particular the drafting of reports and recommendations

5.    To identify priority areas and actions for the prevention of torture within the current legal reform process in the Maldives.

Participants self-reflected on their practice of detention monitoring in
juvenile centres and identified together with APT some key issues
that could be addressed in order to further improve the NPM work
(such as the length of visits and focusing on specific issues).

On the whole the methodology has significantly improved since
APT last visit in July 2009. Some very useful detention monitoring
tools have been developed such as a mapping of places of detention,
check lists and  a recommendations follow up form.

The workshop also provided the opportunity for a review of the NPM’s strategic planning process, focusing on achievements challenges and ways forward. A significant development is that since the last workshop (in 2009) the NPM’s strategic plan has been integrated into the overall strategic plan of the HRCM.
Documents: Agenda
Contact Persons: Barbara Bernath, Chief of Operations
Tanya Norton, Detention Monitoring Adviser
Jem Stevens, Asia Pacific Programme Officer
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