Asia Pacific Forum

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In the absence of a multilateral human rights mechanism, the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) has quickly established itself as the most important member-based human rights organisation in the region.

Since its inception in 1996, the APF has been supporting the establishment and strengthening of independent national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific.  Today, the APF has 17 member institutions, and assists them in their role of promoting, monitoring and protecting human rights, in addition to providing specialist advice to governments and civil society groups.
The APT has been actively collaborating with the APF since its 10th Annual Meeting, which was held in Mongolia in August 2005. On that occasion, APT representatives provided expert support to the APF’s Advisory Council of Jurists (ACJ) in its consideration of the Forum Council’s reference on torture.  The following year, the APT and the APF formalized their partnership through an agreement aimed at assisting member institutions to implement the recommendations of the 2005 ACJ Reference of Torture.

The first workshop held in the context of this strategic partnership took place in November 2006 in the Republic of Korea. Together with commissioners and staff members of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK), the APT and the APF looked into the challenges linked to the possible ratification by Korea of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), and the extent to which the NHRCK complied with the requirements for National Preventive Mechanisms operating under the OPCAT. The methodology of visits to places of detention was also addressed in this workshop. Other joint APF-APT capacity-building activities of a similar nature were organised in cooperation with the NHRIs of the Maldives (April 2007) and Thailand (June 2007).
For 2008, training workshops for the NHRIs of Indonesia, Nepal and Timor-Leste are planned.  The APT is also in the process of drafting a Manual on Torture Prevention for NHRIs, which will seek to present the international standards applicable in this particular field, and give NHRIs a sense of how these standards are to be implemented at the domestic level. Contact the APF:Street address:
Level 8, Piccadilly Tower
133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney   NSW   2000

Mailing address:
GPO Box 5218
Sydney   NSW   2001

Phone: +61 2 9284 9845
Fax: + 61 2 9284 9825