OSCE focus on National Human Rights Institutions and torture prevention
The 2015 OSCE Human Dimension Seminar, organised in Warsaw 1-3 June, was dedicated to the role of National Human Rights Institutions in promoting and protecting human rights. In connection to this meeting, the APT organised a workshop for Ombuds institutions designated as NPMs to discuss their preventive mandate.
The importance of National Human Rights Institutions has been recognized by the OSCE and the organisation is committed to promoting the establishment of strong and independent NHRIs. This Human Dimension Seminar discussed the challenges and priorities that NHRIs face, including in their work to prevent torture. As part of the meeting, the APT participated in a panel on the indispensable cooperation of NHRIs with other stakeholders and in particular, with civil society.
Following the Seminar, on 4 June, we organised a workshop for selected Ombuds institutions designated as National Preventive Mechanisms in the OSCE region. The workshop gathered several Ombudspersons, Deputy Ombudspersons and other senior representatives, who discussed the implementation of their preventive mandate. Experiences, good practices and challenges were raised throughout the meeting, which focused on three key topics:
- Opportunities and challenges of the preventive approach for Ombuds institutions;
- modalities of an efficient dialogue for change with authorities, under the OPCAT;
- strategic cooperation with other stakeholders, including civil society organisations, members of Parliament, the judiciary, the media, and international and regional human rights mechanisms and torture prevention bodies.
The fruitful exchanges at this workshop are yet another illustration of the benefits of peer exchanges between NPMs at the regional level. We encourage the OSCE to take an active role in facilitating further contacts and discussions, as recommended by NPMs themselves.
The workshop was supported by the OSCE 2015 Serbian Chairpersonship and the Permanent Representations of Denmark, Norway and Switzerland to the OSCE.