Preventing Torture in São Paulo, Brazil

Friday, September 24, 2010

From 15 to 19 September, APT conducted a mission to São Paulo, Brazil, with the dual purpose of fostering debate about torture prevention measures in the state of São Paulo and the possible implementation of a local preventive mechanism in the state; and training relevant state stakeholders on techniques of detention monitoring and prevention of torture. An 'International Seminar on Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture' brought together over 100 participants.

In partnership with national civil society organizations, APT co-organized the 'International Seminar on Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture' on 15 September 2010. This one day event brought together over 100 participants, including key actors who have been leading the process of implementing the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture both at national and state levels.

The main objectives were to raise awareness about the Optional Protocol and its national preventive mechanisms; provide a forum for exchanging experiences and ideas among actors with different roles in preventing and combating torture in the state; mobilize civil society in preventing torture in places of deprivation of liberty; and advance the debate on the implementation of mechanisms to prevent torture in the state of Sao Paulo. Representatives from the state of Rio de Janeiro and Alagoas, the only states in Brazil to have enacted state laws creating local preventive mechanisms under the Optional Protocol, shared with the public their experience in implementing the Optional Protocol.

The second activity, from 16 to 18 September, was the 'International Training Workshop on Monitoring Places of Detention' in partnership with the School of the Ministério Público of São Paulo. The activity brought together 35 public prosecutors from the State of São Paulo, working primarily in the area of criminal justice and incarceration, inspection of places of deprivation of liberty and external control of the police.

This workshop, which used as its main tool APT’s publication 'Monitoring Places of Detention: a Practical Guide', aimed at strengthening the capacity of members of the Ministério Público of the State of Sao Paulo who have a legal mandate to inspect places of detention, through the study of a systematic preventive monitoring methodology. Furthermore, it sought to present international treaties and relevant standards for monitoring places of deprivation of liberty as well as provide information on the contents of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture. Although this is the 8th workshop on detention monitoring that the APT has offered in Brazil since 2006, this is the first time that the APT has established a partnership with the Office of the 'Ministério Público' of a Brazilian state.

Partners:

Conectas Direitos Humanos
Ilanud – Brasil
Pastoral Carcerária
ACAT- Brasil
Ministério Público de São Paulo
Escola Superior do Ministério Público de São Paulo

Documents:

Programme 'International Seminar on Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture'
Agenda  'International Training Workshop on Monitoring Places of Detention'