Joining efforts to prevent torture in Mexico

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

How to join efforts to prevent torture and ill-treatment in Mexico? This was the focus of a recent workshop in which APT took part, and that was co-organised by the NGO Documenta, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and OHCHR Office in Mexico City, on 16-17 April 2018. During the workshop, 56 representatives from National and Local Human Rights Commissions, the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), international expert and the APT met to discuss and agree about effective torture prevention strategies.

Emphasising the importance of having a deeper understanding of what torture prevention is, the APT shared with participants key elements of its definition. The APT stressed that torture prevention is about reducing and addressing risks factors, identified through a systemic analysis of institutions, laws, policies and practices. The workshop was the right opportunity to present in Mexico the results of the global research, "Does Torture Prevention Work?" which provides a unique analysis into which measures are the most effective in reducing the risk of torture.

With this in mind, participants discussed about the risks of torture and ill-treatment in a wide range of places of detention (prisons, migrant detention centres, police stations and psychiatric hospitals), and tried to identify strategies to better prevent torture through their daily work. The meeting enabled the recently renewed NPM within the NHRC, to present its work plan and to engage in dialogue with CSOs for the first time. The workshop was held timely given the profound changes to the NPM structure introduced by the adoption of the General Law against Torture in June 2017. This law introduces a Technical Committee as the governing body of the NPM which includes two civil society representatives and is chaired by the NHRC Chair person.

Over this year, the APT has supported the NPM restructuration process, through direct advice and providing training sessions on detention monitoring.

For more information on:

  • Our work in Mexico, please click here
  • Panama’s implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), please access our OPCAT Database

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