1. Make visible
We make visible the protection needs of all people deprived of liberty, in particular those in a situation of vulnerability.
For instance, we convene symposiums with international experts and National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) to facilitate discussions on the challenges they face in the implementation of their mandate and identify good practices in relation to situations of vulnerability in detention:
- Addressing children’s vulnerabilities in detention (2014)
- Addressing situations of vulnerability of LGBT persons in detention (2015)
- Monitoring psychiatric institutions (2016)
This third Symposium was attended by representatives from 15 NPMs from around the world, together with representatives from international and regional detention monitoring bodies, NGOs and intergovernmental organisations, as well as experts on disability rights and on mental health.
We use every possible opportunity, such as international forums, both to draw attention to the risks of torture and ill-treatment faced by certain groups in specific situations of vulnerability and to suggest ways to reduce them:
- UN Global Compact on Migration: Preventing torture of migrants should be at the core of the Compact (2017)
We gather all stakeholders around the table to facilitate dialogue and the search for solutions.
For instance, we hold an international conference on procedural safeguards in the first hours of police detention, bringing together judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police and other experts from all over the world to explore how safeguards should be understood and implemented to be more effective in the prevention of torture:
The experts from 11 different countries examined the essential measures that have been proven significant in the reduction of the risk of torture.
We organise regional meetings to enable National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) in the region to share experiences and best practices together with other experts on preventive monitoring:
- Torture prevention in the OSCE region: taking stock after 10 years of OPCAT implementation
- First regional exchange between the Tunisian and Mauritanian NPMs and the Moroccan CNDH
We improve the law and detention practices.
For instance, we organise a seminar in Brazil gathering 50 judges from 22 states to share our guidance with judges and engage a discussion on how custody hearings can effectively prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment:
- Custody hearings in Brazil (2016)
Director of the Latin America Office, Audrey Olivier Muralt and Brazilian Representative, Sylvia Dias during the 2016 seminar in Brasilia, which was attended by 50 judges from 22 Brazilian states (© Luiz Silveira/Agência CNJ).
We also strive to define key legal and procedural safeguards that should be guaranteed to all persons deprived of their liberty, and advocate for these safeguards to be written down in a law or even in the Constitution or other Bill of Rights: