Thailand: Implementing the UN Convention Against Torture

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From 20 April to 3 May, the APT was in Thailand with the joint objective of: 1) taking part in the 15th OHCHR workshop of the framework on regional cooperation for the protection and promotion of human rights in Asia-Pacific and 2) conducting a third joint training for lawyers in Thailand on their role in torture prevention. The training was a follow-up event and as such focused on practical application.

 

Date:
20 April - 3 May 2010
Place:
Thailand
Purpose:

OHCHR workshop

The OHCHR workshop took place from 21 to 23 April 2010. It brought together governments, NHRIs and civil society from the region, to update on progress in the four pillars of the 'Tehran framework' for regional cooperation on human rights (National Human Rights Action Plans, NHRIs, human rights education, and right to development and ESCR), as well as to discuss developments and opportunities for a regional human rights mechanism in Asia-Pacific. It was an opportunity for the APT to meet with key stakeholders from the region and keep abreast of regional developments.

Training for lawyers on torture prevention

In 2009, the APT, ICJ and CrCF organized two trainings in Thailand for a total of around 50 lawyers on torture prevention, focusing on their role contributing to the implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). The trainings laid the groundwork in terms of the foundation knowledge regarding the prevention (safeguards in detention) and prohibition (acting on allegations) of torture under the UNCAT and Thai law and practice.

The third training was held on 1 and 2 May, with around 20 lawyers who participated in one of the first trainings. They were a mix of lawyers from the conflict-affected Southern provinces, Bangkok and the Northern provinces (in order to facilitate a sharing of expertise and networking). The training focused on consolidating knowledge and application, through the sharing of experiences, skills and strategies among participants and trainers. International experts with in-depth knowledge and experience, Bill Bowring and Rajeev Dhavan, also took part as expert trainers.

Partners:
International Commission of Jurists
Cross Cultural Foundation
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Bangkok Office
Activities:
  • Take part in the 15th OHCHR workshop of the framework on regional cooperation for the protection and promotion of human rights in Asia-Pacific
  • Two-day training on the role of lawyers in torture prevention in Bangkok (1-2 May)
  • Meetings with relevant stakeholders, including representatives of the Thai Government, the National Human Rights Commission, UN offices and civil society
Outcome:
Training for lawyers
  • Consolidated the learning from the first training
  • Allowed participants to identify ways in which lawyers can work on systemic factors which contribute to the risk of torture in Thailand
  • Assisted participants to further develop strategies and skills for working on torture-related cases (both litigation and also other avenues such as using the UN mechanisms).
Next Steps:
Continuing with its programme to support the application of the UNCAT in Thailand, the APT will jointly organise a consultation workshop on domestication of the UNCAT as part of the process of legal reform. There are also a number of other activities planned in the APT’s three-year project in Thailand funded by the EC.
Contact Persons:

Jem Stevens, APT Asia-Pacific Programme Officer

Sébastien Ramu, APT Legal Adviser

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Follow up training for lawyers on their role in torture prevention

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OHCHR workshop on regional cooperation on human rights in Asia-Pacific