Next steps in APT’s Strategic Plan
The Board of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) have taken two major decisions to enhance the implementation of the current four year Strategic Plan.
Firstly as the APT’s Regional Office, based in Panama since 2009, has successfully completed its temporary mandate of supporting the establishment and functioning of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) in Latin America, the Office will close at the end of June 2018.
Over the last nine years the APT has contributed to the creation of 10 NPMs and the functioning of all 12 NPMs in the region. It has done this through multiple training workshops and seminars, including on detention monitoring, strategic planning and detention safeguards. With its presence in Latin America the APT has been able to foster an on-going regional exchange of ideas and assistance amongst NPMs, States Parties to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT) and the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, who were all invited to an APT Regional Forum on the OPCAT, in 2014.
More recently, in 2017, the APT accompanied: national partners in Argentina and Panama to establish an NPM; national partners in Mexico to draft the new anti-torture law: judges in Brazil on the conduct of custody hearings with a view to ascertaining whether arrested persons should be detained and how they have been treated; all persons monitoring places of detention in the region by making available a Spanish version of the APT online database on human rights in prison, resulting in an increase of over 1,800 users since its launch.
Thanks to these advances and our quality partnerships with our national counterparts, the APT’s support for the prevention of torture in Latin America can continue from Geneva, where Veronica Filippeschi, who has extensive experience with the APT in Latin America, will assume the responsibilities of Americas Programme Officer, from 1 July. Activities in Brazil will continue to be implemented by Sylvia Dias, APT’s National Representative.
The second important decision of the Board is that the Secretariat of the APT will strengthen its management team from the 1st of August 2018. Audrey Olivier Muralt, currently Director of APT’s Regional Office, will assume the responsibilities of Director of Regional Programmes, whilst Jean-Sébastien Blanc, APT’s Detention Advisor, will take on the role of Director of Thematic Programmes. Therefore, along with some improved alignments of other posts with the Strategic Plan, all elements will be in place to enable Barbara Bernath, the new Secretary General of the APT, from 1 July, to lead a sound and motivated team to implement further the APT’s Strategic Plan of an “Agenda for Change.”