Increased networking a key result of European NPM project

Friday, November 8, 2013

“The Project has become a significant factor in enhancing the capacities of National Human Rights Structures and their ability to (…) counter torture”. It has been “highly responsive to the actual needs of the main stakeholders.”

This is some of the feedback gathered from participants of the European NPM project, an initiative led by the Council of Europe and to which APT was the main implementing partner during the period 2008-2012. The project took place in two phases, 2008-2009 and 2010-2012. As part of the project, National Preventive Mechanisms from Council of Europe member states benefitted from peer-to-peer exchanges on various topics of relevance to their work. They were also supported by the participation of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

The peer-to-peer approach proved to be highly appropriate as the evaluators noted: “the established network of horizontal NHRS/NPM cooperation and exchange of good practices and experiences is one of the greatest achievements of the Project”.  Several participants also called for an extension of the initiative in the future.

APT’s role was deemed as “highly instrumental in conceptualizing the Project and subsequently (…) supportive (…) in its implementation”. The project stirred up a number of follow-up initiatives including, for instance, the establishment by NPMs from the Balkan region of an informal network of exchanges called the South East Europe NPM Network.

Evaluation recommendations and lessons learnt are a valuable source of inspiration. The APT built on one of the most relevant of these lessons learnt by integrating the facilitation of interactions between NPMs and other relevant actors as a key strategy for the period 2013-2015.