Since Jean-Jacques Gautier’s original idea of a system of visits to places of detention, prevention has progressed. The transparency of places of deprivation of liberty has increased and the need for safeguards to prevent violations is now recognised. The timeline and this annual report show APT’s driving role in these developments.
For the first time, we are making available an online version if you would like more details. You can also check on how we are doing in implementing our Agenda for Change and four-year Strategic Plan, and discover the coherence of our work in 2107 with everything that has come before it.
- For example the conclusions of the independent research we commissioned a few years ago, has influenced us in paying more attention to ensuring that detention safeguards are in place and their functioning supervised by public oversight bodies. This is therefore a good example of how we mobilise States, Experts and Civil Society around a reform agenda that can lead to real improvements.
- Bringing about change in detention policy and practice is rarely easy and almost all our partners need our help to revise laws, train them on detention monitoring and accompany them through specific national reforms that can take several years. For example, see our work with emerging national preventive mechanisms in the North Africa region.
- However, much can be done now to better protect the dignity and rights of all persons deprived off their liberty, especially those who are most vulnerable to abuse and discrimination. For example custody hearings in Brazil have led to a reduction in arrested persons being sent to pre-trial detention and our advice to judges on this procedure contributes to deterring police abuses.
Mark Thomson, Secretary General