Indonesia: National institutions find new strategies for torture prevention during Geneva study trip

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In 2017, Indonesia underwent the third cycle of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and accepted recommendations to consider future ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT). This calls for an on-going support and work with national stakeholders to sustain the State’s interest in ratification, and prepare subsequent steps towards implementing a detention monitoring system at the domestic level. It is in this spirit that the APT continues to support the cooperation between five Indonesian national institutions* that could possibly form part of a future multiple-body National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) in Indonesia.

As a follow up to the OPCAT awareness session for Parliamentarians held in Jakarta in August, the APT organised an OPCAT study trip to Geneva for the five national institutions’ leaders from 19-21 September, during the adoption of Indonesia’s UPR report by the UN Human Rights Council. The working tour included a day of discussions with the United Kingdom NPM, a day of strategic workshop in APT’s headquarters, as well as bilateral meetings with the Permanent Mission of Indonesia and the Secretariat of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT).

At the end of the study trip – during the adoption of Indonesia’s UPR report – the Deputy Chair of Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM), Mr. Nurkhoiron delivered a statement that included a call for OPCAT ratification by Indonesia. “The Commission encourages the Government to highlight other crucial issues such as minority groups, indigenous people, human rights defenders, torture and further steps of international human rights instruments ratification including OPCAT.”

Overall, the study trip helped participants re-think and re-strategise their inter-agency cooperation and approach in advocating for OPCAT ratification. During the three-day engagement, the five institutions identified three key strategies for their future advocacy in Indonesia:

  1. Strengthening their institutions’ internal capacities and understanding of OPCAT and torture prevention as a whole;
  2. Broadening national engagement on OPCAT by involving decision-makers, including parliamentarians, legislatures and the security and military sector; and
  3. Promoting the added values of the OPCAT’s oversight mechanisms – a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and the SPT – and community.

The APT was glad to see the five institutions leave Geneva with new motivation and a reinvigorated spirit of collaboration.

To know more about the OPCAT, watch this 2min animation video in English or Bahasa Indonesian.

* The five national institutions are the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia (KOMNAS HAM), the Child Protection Commission (KPAI), the Women Commission (KOMNAS Perempuan), Ombudsman of Republic of Indonesia (Ombudsman RI) and the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK)

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The five Indonesian national institutions meet with the United Kingdom National Preventive Mechanism in Geneva, APT headquarters, September 2017.

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The five Indonesian national institutions meet with the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, September 2017.

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The five Indonesian national institutions meet with the Indonesian Permanent Mission in Geneva, September 2017.

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The five Indonesian national institutions in front of the United Nations in Geneva, September 2017.

Staff members