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Thailand: Implementing the UN Convention Against Torture


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On the 5 and 6 September, the APT conducted its second training for lawyers on their role in the prevention of torture in Thailand, jointly with the International Commission of Jurists and the Cross Cultural Foundation of Thailand. This event brought together around 30 lawyers from the Northern Provinces, many of whom represent minority groups in the area. The purpose of the training was to contribute to a better implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture, which Thailand ratified in 2007, and related international instruments. On 7 September, a session was also held for civil society organizations in the area, in which the organizers as well as OHCHR and ICRC shared information on how they work against torture.

 

Date:
5 - 7 September 2009
Place:
Thailand
Purpose:

On the 5 and 6 September 2009, the APT conducted its second training for lawyers on their role in the prevention of torture in Thailand, jointly with the International Commission of Jurists and the Cross Cultural Foundation of Thailand. The first training in May of this year involved lawyers mainly working in the conflict-affected Southern Provinces of Thailand. This second event brought together around 30 lawyers from the Northern Provinces, many of whom represent minority groups in the area.

The purpose of the training was to contribute to a better implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture, which Thailand ratified in 2007, and related international instruments by enhancing the participants' knowledge of these standards and how to use them in their work.

On 7 September, a session was also held for civil society organizations in the area, in which the organizers as well as OHCHR and ICRC shared information on how they work against torture.

Partners:

International Commission of Jurists

Cross Cultural Foundation

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Bangkok Office

Swiss Embassy in Bangkok

Activities:
  • Two-day training on the role of lawyers in torture prevention in Chiang Mai.
  • Meeting with civil society organizations in Chiang Mai on work combating torture.
  • Meetings with relevant stakeholders, including representatives of the Thai Government, the National Human Rights Commission and UN offices.
Outcome:
  • Enhanced knowledge of lawyers on how to make use of the international human rights toolset on torture, including the UN Convention Against Torture, in their daily work.
  • Increased knowledge among lawyers on UN human rights  mechanisms and how to work with them.
  • Lawyers were given substantial suggestions to the practical issues they face on a daily basis when handling cases of individuals who have been tortured.
  • Selected civil society organizations from Chiang Mai and the Northern Provinces have increased awareness of the role of national and international NGOs and international organizations in combating torture and how to work with these organizations.
  • This event brought together lawyers from the Southern and Northern provinces, by including participants from the previous training organized in May as resource persons. This facilitated information sharing and networking among lawyers working on torture and related issues in Thailand.
Next Steps:
A third training for lawyers on their role in torture prevention will be held in Thailand next year, as well as a number of other activities included in the APT's three-year project in the country funded by the EC.
Documents:

As part of the projects, the following publications were translated into Thai and disseminated at the training for lawyers:

'Bringing the International Prohibition of Torture Home. National Implementation Guide for the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment'. A Redress publication which has been translated and published into Thai by the APT and the ICJ. PDF Version

'Combating Torture: A Manual for Judges and Prosecutors', by Conor Foley. A publication by the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex which has been translated and published into Thai by the APT and the ICJ. PDF Version

Contact Persons:

Jem Stevens, APT Asia-Pacific Programme Officer

Sébastien Ramu, APT Legal Adviser

 

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