Paraguay: Strengthening the NPM’s strategies for effective reporting and follow-up to recommendations
Building on the strong and long-standing partnership with the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of Paraguay, the APT held a three-day training to assist the institution in refining its strategies for effective reporting and follow-up to recommendations. APT’s presence in Paraguay was also the opportunity to participate in a roundtable with the NPM, police officers, public defenders and representatives of the Ministry of Health on the implementation of safeguards in the first hours of detention.
Reports and recommendations are an essential part of the NPM’s preventive mandate and they are powerful tools for NPMs to bring about changes in detention policies and practices. Upon request from the NPM of Paraguay, the APT facilitated a three-day workshop to assist the institution in reviewing its practices and strengthening its planning, reporting and follow-up strategies, in view of contributing to real changes in the treatment and conditions of persons deprived of their liberty.
With APT’s support and guidance, NPM’s members and staff reviewed their practices regarding the whole monitoring cycle, from preparing and conducting visits to places of detention to drafting the report and following-up to the recommendations. Concrete strategies were also identified to ensure high quality reports and recommendations, as well as effective drafting and follow-up process. The workshop also provided a unique space for the NPM to reflect on the way it plans, monitors and evaluates its work. NPM’s members and staff acknowledged the importance to include the change dimension since the planning phase, to make sure that their work is oriented towards achieving positive changes in detention policies and practices.
“The work of an NPM is a continuous and ongoing process. I was therefore very pleased to see how all the members and staff of the Paraguayan NPM, a well-established and experienced institution, were open and willing to reflect on their practices in order to improve their work”, said Veronica Filippeschi, APT’s Americas Programme Officer.
Working group with members and staff of the Paraguayan NPM during APT’s workshop on reporting and follow-up to recommendations, 26 February 2019. ©NPM of Paraguay
Inter-institutional roundtable on detention safeguards
The APT was also invited to participate in an inter-institutional roundtable organised by the Paraguayan NPM and the Human Rights Department of the National Police, which also gathered representatives of the Public Defender’s Office and the Ministry of Health.
The event was a follow-up to the meeting that the NPM and APT held with the National Police in 2017 and with the Public Defender’s Office in 2018. The meeting enabled a very constructive discussion and clearly demonstrated the added value of the NPM in identifying practices that can contribute to torture and ill -treatment and articulating with relevant institutions to bring them together and engage in a dialogue towards possible solutions. Participants discussed on possible solutions to the challenges identified and agreed on practical ways forward to effectively implement the right of access to a lawyer and the right of access to an independent medical examination in the first hours of police custody.
APT’s delegation with representatives of the Paraguayan NPM, National Police, Public Defender’s Office and Ministry of Health during roundtable on safeguards, 28 February 2019.