Multi-year research project on effectiveness of torture prevention

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What are the measures and mechanisms which contribute in reducing the risk of torture and other ill-treatment? Can torture prevalence be measured and if so what are the elements influencing increases or decreases in prevalence over time? What are the common assumptions with regards to effective means to prevent torture from occurring?

These are just some of the questions which a major new multi-year research project commissioned by the APT will aim to answer. The project kick-started on 1st April 2012 and for a duration of 3 years. It will include various phases including desk and in-depth field research in countries deemed to have witnessed a reduction in torture prevalence. In order to ensure the independence and objectivity of research results, the project will be undertaken and coordinated by an external party. The processes and results of the project will be fully independent from the APT.

Renowned expert takes on the job

Law Professor and human rights expert Richard Carver, from Oxford Brookes University in the UK, will coordinate the project, which over the years will involve fellow research partners in up to 12 different target countries. Mr. Carver was the lead researcher behind the acclaimed study on Assessing the effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), published by the late International Council on Human Rights Policy. The study has directly contributed to a number of initiatives to strengthen the impact of NHRIs’ work around the world. For example, UNDP and OHCHR developed a toolkit for collaboration with NHRIs, partially based on inputs from the study. UNDP are now undertaking a number of projects around the world to support NHRIs, including to enhance their impact, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

Major expectations on research results

As for the above mentioned initiative on the impact of NHRIs, the APT hopes that this research project will address the many questions and needs of the anti-torture movement around most effective measures and mechanisms to prevent torture. The research results will be compiled in an independent publication, expected to be released around end 2014 - early 2015. Research findings are expected to be of use for all actors involved in the fight against torture, including National Preventive Mechanisms under the OPCAT.




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Does torture prevention work? Outline of a 3 year research project commissioned by the Association for the Prevention of Torture