Launch of Balkan NPM Network

Friday, March 22, 2013

The official launch of a novel regional NPM Network takes place in Belgrade on 25 March 2013. It will bring together Balkan torture prevention mechanisms for the first time. The meeting will set the groundwork for future cooperation in the region.

The Serbian Ombudsperson’s Office will host the first of what will hopefully be a series of Balkan-wide gatherings aimed at preventing torture. NPMs from Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia will meet in the Serbian capital on 25-26 March to discuss the future of the network as well as to take part in a first thematic discussion on NPM report writing.

The network takes much of its inspiration from the Council of Europe / European Commission’s ‘European NPM Project’ launched in 2010, in which the APT acted as the Implementing Partner. The initiative saw a series of thematic exchanges and in situ detention monitoring exercises take place between around 20 NPMs in Europe.

The APT is set to attend the Balkan-wide meeting in Belgrade along with several other international actors. A representative of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention will also participate in the event.

For several years existing and emerging torture prevention mechanisms in the region have undertaken study visits to one another and engaged in other exchanges aimed at bolstering their work in practice. It is therefore hoped that this current initiative will similarly have a positive impact in a region where all countries have now ratified the OPCAT.

The Serbian Ombudsperson’s Office and the OSCE Mission to Serbia are sponsoring the meeting.