Promoting OPCAT ratification in Australia
Australia signed the OPCAT on 19 May 2009 and on that occasion became the second State Signatory in the Asian and Pacific region. To date there are three States Parties to the OPCAT from the region (Cambodia, Maldives and New Zealand). From 23 to 25 November 2009, the APT, accompanied by Dr Silvia Casale (former SPT Chairperson and member), met key stakeholders, including the Attorney General and his department, representatives from the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Home Affairs, Inspector General, to promote a prompt ratification of the OPCAT.
On 25 November, the APT participated in a national seminar on the OPCAT co-organised by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Asia Pacific Forum, in Sydney. The seminar gathered approximately 60 participants from federal and state authorities, academics, human right commission and NGOs. During the seminar, the participants discussed the OPCAT implementation in Australia and explored the challenges faced by a federal state in the process of implementation towards the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism.