2nd Regional OPCAT Seminar in MERCOSUR
On October 18th, the 'Seminar on National Preventive Mechanisms: Monitoring Places of Deprivation of Liberty', took place in the context of the 18th Meeting of High Authorities on Human Rights and Foreign Ministries of MERCOSUR Member and Associated States in Brasilia, Brazil. The seminar provided a forum for states from this region to exchange information about their domestic processes to implement the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
This seminar implements a recommendation issued during the 'First Regional Seminar on the Implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture' held in May 2007 at the 8th RAADH, in Asuncion, Paraguay. At that time, MERCOSUR Member and Associated States affirmed their commitment to organizing a second regional workshop in the upcoming year in order to assure continuity of the process of regional cooperation for the prevention of torture.
Of the ten member states of Mercosur and Associates, eight have ratified OPCAT and are currently in the process of either enacting specific framework legislation or putting into practice its national preventive mechanisms. In this sense, by incorporating this specific debate about OPCAT implementation into the agenda of the 18th RAADH, it is expected that MERCOSUR Member and Associated States will (i) share examples of good practice in establishing their national preventive mechanisms (ii) identify common challenges, and (iii) formulate public policies and common tools for overcoming such challenges.
An APT delegation travelled to Brasilia, invited by the General Coordinator of Combating Torture of the National Human Rights Secretariat of Brazil, to assist. In addition, to representatives of the delegations of the countries in the region, representatives of civil society organizations, of state committees to prevent and combat torture in Brazil, and of the National Committee on Prevention and Combating Torture of Brazil also attended the seminar. The representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for South America, Mr. Amerigo Incalcaterra, and the Minister of Human Rights of Brazil, Mr. Paulo Vannuchi, issued the opening and closing speeches of the Seminar.
Furthermore, the APT delegation will hold bilateral meetings with officials from various countries of MERCOSUR and Associates attending the event in order to continue strengthening actions of cooperation and technical assistance to these countries in implementing OPCAT. Also, APT will closely follow the debates held in the Plenary of the 18th RADDHH, especially in regards to the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in places of deprivation of liberty.
Agenda of the 'Seminar on National Preventive Mechanisms: Monitoring Places of Deprivation of Liberty', 18th RAADH.
Report of the 'Seminar on National Preventive Mechanisms: Monitoring Places Deprivation of Liberty', 18th RAADH.
Agenda of the 18th RAADH.
Official Minutes of the 18th RAADH.
Conclusions of the 'First Regional Seminar on the Implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture', 8th RAADH (May 2007).
Official Minutes of the 8th RAADH (May 2007)
Press: 18ª Raadh: primeiro dia da reunião de Altas Autoridades em Direitos Humanos do Mercosul realiza dois seminários e dez reuniões paralelas