Summer School on Nelson Mandela Rules brings 17 NPMs to Bristol

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Together with Penal Reform International (PRI) and the Human Rights Implementation Centre of the University of Bristol, the APT convened a Summer School on “Detention monitoring applying the UN Nelson Mandela Rules.” Designed for professionals in the field of torture prevention, it mostly aimed to address specific areas of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners that were revised in 2015. Sponsored by the Danish government, this one-week training was attended by representatives of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) from 17 countries, as well as other experts in the fields of detention monitoring and correction.

Organised as a sequence of interactive modules, the Summer School was guided by experts from a broad range of organisations, including the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the American Civil Liberty Union, the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

Participants looked deeper into rules covering disciplinary measures, solitary confinement, body searches, prisoner file management, complaints & inspections, investigations in cases of serious injury, deaths in custody and allegations of torture, health-care and the role of doctors.

“The course covered all of the new rules, and […] for each module there was lots to learn and some fabulous speakers and facilitators from all sectors and backgrounds to inspire and bring the rules to life,” said in a recent blog the Chief Operating Officer of the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA), a UK association which leads, supports and represent volunteers who visit police custody to uphold detainees’ rights & entitlements.

It was the Second Summer School organised jointly with PRI and the Human Rights Implementation Centre of the University of Bristol. The first edition, entitled “Preventing torture and ill-treatment of female detainees through gender-sensitive monitoring,” was devoted to detention monitoring applying the UN Bangkok Rules – the Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial measures for Women.