Africa

An increasing number of African countries have taken steps to combat and prevent torture and ill-treatment, including by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

Our priority therefore is to support State parties to establish OPCAT-compliant National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) and, once designated, to support them towards their good functioning.

In close cooperation with our national partners, we provide technical assistance and advice in NPM establishment processes and we strengthen operational capacities of NPMs and other relevant actors such as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) through, among other things, peer to peer exchanges and specific trainings. Hence, we have actively supported OPCAT implementation processes in Senegal, Togo and Rwanda and provided training to NHRIs in the region.

“There is real progress in the fight against torture in Senegal [...] The problem is not eradicated, but we can see the impact of awareness raising activities.”

Diène Ndiaye, Président of Amnesty International, Senegal

The APT was given an observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) in 1995. Through our work in the region we have, among other things, contributed to the adoption of the Robben Island Guidelines for the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture in Africa by the African Commission in 2002, and the establishment of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA). Our Africa programme officer, Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero, is the vice-chair of the CPTA.

Examples of our work in the Africa region:

NHRIs in the region: A 3-year project to develop the torture prevention capacity of National Human Rights Institutions, in cooperation with the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI).

Rwanda : Supporting the designation and establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism.

Senegal: Long-term engagement to strengthen the monitoring capacity of the NPM, the National Observer of Places of Deprivation of Liberty (ONLPL).

 

Uganda: Supporting the drafting process of the national anti-torture law to domesticate the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) and providing technical assistance and advice for the promotion of its implementation.

 

Madagascar: Supporting the drafting process of the national anti-torture law to domesticate the UNCAT and providing technical assistance and advice for the promotion of its implementation.