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Strengthening the protection of migrants


Monday, May 23, 2011

The 8th International Human Rights Forum takes place in Lucerne on 24 - 25 May. This year’s theme is “Human Rights and Migration”.

APT will conduct workshops on “The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) and its relevance to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants”.

Date: 24 - 25 May 2011
Place: Lucerne
Purpose: The purpose is to raise awareness on the issue of widespread use of detention for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants and the value added of the OPCAT for protecting this vulnerable group.
Partners: International Human Rights Forum Lucerne
Background: Ultimately the detention of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants is ‘inherently undesirable’. However, many countries in the world are increasingly resorting to detaining asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the first instance. Places of detention are particularly sensitive as they are environments where individuals are vulnerable vis a vis the State and can be at risk of ill treatment or torture.
Activities: APT will conduct workshops on “The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) and its relevance to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants”.

The purpose of the workshops will be to introduce and discuss the OPCAT and it's value add for protecting detained refugees, asylum seekers and migrants against torture and ill-treatment. The establishment of preventive mechanisms facilitates a greater level of transparency and accountability with regards to conditions for, and treatment of, asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in immigration detention. This represents an important opportunity for actors who work for the protection of the rights of refugees and migrants in detention.
Expected Outcome:
  • APT expects to draw the attention of participants on the value added of the OPCAT for protecting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
  • Promoting transparency in places of detention is in itself and essential step towards ensuring the rights of refugees and migrants.
  • APT hopes that those who work in the protection of migrants will engage in promoting the widespread ratification and effective implementation of the OPCAT and identify concrete follow-up steps which they can undertake.
Documents: Program
Contact Person: Tanya Norton, APT Detention Monitoring Adviser
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