Preventing torture in Latin America - a shared responsibility
National Preventive Mechanisms play a decisive role in preventing torture and other ill-treatment and need Governments to give them full support and financial resources to carry out their mandate effectively. This was emphasized by the more than 120 participants from 14 Latin American countries, who gathered in Panama for the first Regional Forum on the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture from 30 September to 2 October 2014.
Over three days, the APT brought together all torture prevention bodies from the region, State representatives, civil society organisations and international experts for a unique meeting to share experiences and good practices in monitoring places of deprivation of liberty in Latin America.
Participants stressed the urgent need to strengthen the National and Local Preventive Mechanisms and emphasised in particular the State's obligation to ensure that these bodies are financially and operationally independent, have a sound legal basis and adequate resources to perform their work.
As a result of the Regional Forum, the mechanisms agreed to establish - with APT’s support - a platform for continuous collaboration and experience sharing.
Photo by Alberto Quiros Bonett (more photos on the APT Facebook page and the Facebook page of our Latin America Regional Office).