Indonesia continues discussion on its future torture prevention body

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

National institutions in Indonesia, including the National Human Rights Commission, recently revived the momentum for a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM).

The two-day national seminar/workshop was held in Jakarta on 24-25 February, as a long awaited follow up to a workshop on the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in 2013. In the 2013 meeting, national partners agreed that a multiple body NPM would be the most suitable model for Indonesia, and that advancing the NPM would be an appropriate strategy to pave the way for OPCAT ratification.  

Now, about 120 torture prevention actors in Indonesia, from various government agencies, law enforcement and civil society, convened and discussed how the potential National Preventive Mechanism could function independently and effectively. The seminar provided an overview of policies and practices to prevent torture in Indonesia, from international and local experts and resource persons. The message was clear: torture prevention is not new in Indonesia, and the establishment of the NPM would be a catalyst towards better cooperation among key stakeholders.

This was further reiterated by the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna H. Laoly, in his keynote address, where he stressed that the government will expedite the passage of the anti-torture law as a step towards prohibiting and preventing torture.

The national seminar and workshop was funded by the European Union and the APT. It is hoped that the commitment shown by national partners, in particular the National Human Rights Commission, the Commission on Women, the Children’s Commission, the Ombudsman and the Witness and Victim Protection Agency, will further strengthen Indonesia’s endeavour to ratify and implement OPCAT in the near future.