Moving the Torture Prevention Agenda Forward in South Africa
The APT returned to South Africa from 19 to 22 October in the framework of its five year programme of work in the country. APT, in a strategic partnership with the South Africa Human Rights Commission, is part of the Section 5 Committee, which includes various civil society organisations. This group undertakes to promote the ratification and implementation of OPCAT, the criminalisation of torture as well as other initiatives related to the prevention of torture and ill treatment.
|Date: ||19 - 22 October 2009 |
|Place: ||South Africa |
|Purpose: ||General Objective: |
To reinvigorate and strengthen the torture prevention agenda in South Africa.
|Partners: ||The members of the Section 5 Committee are:|
The APT returned to South Africa from 19 to 22 October in the framework of its five year (2006-2010) programme of work in the country (see briefing note for further background information). The APT has been closely involved in both regional and national torture prevention projects in South Africa at least since the early 2000s. The country is home to the highly symbolic Robben Island which gave its name to the Africa Commission on Human Peoples' Rights Robben Island Guidelines for the prohibition and prevention of torture in Africa.
In 2007, the APT entered into a strategic partnership with the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and agreed to become part of a multi stakeholder Committee which included various civil society organisations as well as the SAHRC and APT. This group, called the Section 5 Committee on torture undertakes to promote the ratification and implementation of OPCAT, the criminalisation of torture (particularly through the passing of a Bill on torture) as well as other initiatives related to the prevention of torture and ill treatment.
On 19 October, the SAHRC and the APT facilitated a meeting of the Section 5 Committee during which the group undertook a strategic review of achievements and challenges (SWOT analysis). Despite notable achievements, South Africa has not yet ratified OPCAT. The Draft Torture Bill is being circulated and considered by relevant governmental departments.
Furthermore, the APT delegation was able to meet with various representatives from Government and Parliament, which helped in identifying blockades as well as lobbying for OPCAT and criminalisation of torture.
|Next Steps: |
|Documents: ||Briefing Note|
|Contact Persons: |
Vincent Ploton, APT Fundraising Officer
Adam Fletcher, APT Legal Adviser