Civil Society and the Implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines

Thursday, December 11, 2008

For the third year in a row, the APT and its partner the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture organized a three-day training seminar for 13 NGOs from francophone Africa. For the first time, the links between the civil society organisations and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights were reinforced thanks to the participation of the President of the Robben Island Guidelines follow-up Committee, Mrs. Dupe Atoki. The 2008 session took place from 15 to 17 December 2008 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The 26 participants to the seminar took the opportunity to assess the achievements of previous workshops (2006 in Bujumbura, and 2007 in Bamako). Furthermore, the APT and FIACAT were able to meet with an array of relevant national partners and assess the implementation of a FIACAT/APT partnership project on the improvement of conditions of detention in Burkina Faso.


Date:15 - 17 December 2008
Place:Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT)

ACAT Burkina Faso

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Purpose:To reinforce the capacities of 13 francophone African ACAT on the implementation of the RIG at the national level and to prepare the implementation of a tri-annual project in Burkina Faso.

From 15 to 17 December, a training workshop was held for 13 francophone African ACAT, during which they were able to assess achievements, share experience, and acquire new tools of action on the prevention of torture.

The training programme focused on detention monitoring and was complemented by a training visit to Ouagadougou central prison (MACO) on 16 December.

Mrs. Dupe Atoki, ACHPR Commissioner, gave several presentations on the African system on human rights promotion and protection, particularly with regards to torture.

Furthermore, the training programme was complemented with a module on strategic planning and project management.

Finally, the representatives from APT, FIACAT, and ACAT Burkina Faso were able to meet with a number of partners including the Minister of Justice, the Minister for Human Rights, the General Prosecutor of Burkina, parliamentarians as well as representatives from the French embassy and the European Delegation in Burkina.


The evaluation questionnaires that were filled in by each of the 13 participating organisation prior to the workshop underlined the achievements acquired by participating organisations throughout the tri-annual programme, particularly in relation to visits to places of detention.

Participants appreciated the elements gained throughout these three days with regards to working with ACHPR, the MACO visit, and project management. It is expected that ACATs will directly benefit from and implement these new elements in 2009.

Finally, the APT and its partners FIACAT and ACAT Burkina are now in a better position to initiate a pilot programme on the prevention of torture in Burkina Faso

Documents:Programme (French)
Contact Persons:

Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero, APT Africa Programme Officer

Vincent Ploton, APT Fundraising Officer