Planning Strategies for an NPM Visit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This third NPM Thematic Workshop of the 'European NPM Project' took place recently in Armenia, and focused on the planning strategies that an NPM might want to consider when planning and structuring a programme of visits and a specific visit to any place of deprivation of liberty. The European NPM Project is unique in that it is the only initiative in the Council of Europe region which regularly brings together European NPMs for the purpose of such peer-to-peer exchanges and which offers NPMs in-country detention monitoring trainings.

Date: 13 - 14 October 2010
Place: Yerevan, Armenia
Purpose: This third NPM Thematic Workshop of the so-called ‘European NPM Project’ focused on the planning strategies that an NPM might want to consider when planning and structuring a programme of visits and a specific visit to any type of place of deprivation of liberty.
Partners: The meeting was funded by the Council of Europe, European Union and the Human Rights Trust Fund with the APT as an implementing partner and the Human Rights Defender for the Republic of Armenia as a co-organizer.
Activities: The Human Rights Defender for the Republic of Armenia co-hosted the third of six thematic workshops for NPMs in the Council of Europe region, which will take place in the period 2010-2011.

The workshop gathered 19 European NPMs (out of a total of 21) and international experts from the United Nations Subcommittee on Torture Prevention (SPT), the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).

The overall aim of the workshop was to discuss and exchange experiences on important aspects of preparing an effective NPM programme of visits (planning strategies) as well as a specific visit to a place of detention. In doing so, a range of relevant issues were examined including: the overall legal framework and information gathering and analysis; structuring a visit (including the selection criteria of establishments to visit, the focus and objectives of a visit, the type of visit, composition of visiting NPM teams, distribution of work, frequency of visit) and interview strategy. In addition, key elements relating to a media strategy were also discussed among the participants.

The European NPM Project is unique in that it is the only initiative in the Council of Europe region which regularly brings together European NPMs for the purpose of such peer-to-peer exchanges and which offers NPMs in-country detention monitoring trainings.
Outcome: This peer-to-peer meeting was the third thematic component of the European NPM Project, which, as a whole, seeks to enhance the capacity of NPMs to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment. It is anticipated that, as a result of the project's combined activities, NPMs in the Council of Europe region will be much better placed to implement their functions as torture prevention bodies in the light of the OPCAT.

The fourth Thematic Workshop in the context of the European NPM Project will focus on the topic of 'Security and Surveillance' and will be hosted by the French Contrôleur général des lieux de privation de liberté in Paris in March 2011.
Documents: Agenda
Further information about the European NPM Project (External Link)
Contact Persons: Tanya Norton, APT Detention Monitoring Adviser
Esther Schaufelberger, APT Middle East & North Africa Programme Officer