Armenia: Strengthening the NPM’s capacity to follow-up on its recommendations

Monday, May 13, 2019

Two representatives of the APT conducted a training workshop for the staff of the Armenian National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and the wider ombuds institution on strategies and tools for follow-up to recommendations.

The two-day workshop, held in Tsakhkadzor on 13-14 April in the framework of the EU funded “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Armenia” Project implemented by UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF aimed at enhancing the NPM’s capacity to follow-up on its recommendations and ensure their effective implementation by authorities.

The workshop was an opportunity to address follow-up as a strategic component of the entire work cycle of the NPM, from strategic planning to dialogue with authorities. Participants were able to discuss the Armenian NPM’s existing practices and challenges, including: its strategy and planning; the way it conducts monitoring visits; the way it drafts and addresses recommendations; and the way it follows-up, through follow-up visits, dialogue with the authorities and by mobilising other stakeholders. Participants could then jointly identify further tools and strategies to strengthen their follow-up techniques.

“The workshop was an excellent opportunity to bring together the Armenian NPM’s staff and their colleagues from other relevant departments of the ombuds institution. Together, we could identify effective ways for the NPM to strengthen the follow-up to its recommendations,” said Eva Csergö, APT Europe and Central Asia Programme Officer. “It is important that the NPM now adopts a comprehensive follow-up strategy, with a view to getting its recommendations implemented and further fostering much-needed positive changes for persons deprived of their liberty in Armenia,” she added.

The workshop built, in particular, upon a desk review of NPM practices of follow-up worldwide carried out by APT experts, within the named Project. “Many NPMs have now been operational for a decade. It has thus become more and more important that they are able to measure their progress and understand the impact they are having. The study we prepared in advance of this workshop provides a snapshot of the state of play in terms of where NPMs around the world are at in these important areas, which can be also applicable for the Armenian NPM,” said Ben Buckland, APT Independent Oversight Adviser.