Torture Prevention Skills for Latin American National Human Rights Institutions
APT and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights held a training workshop in San José, Costa Rica from 26-30 November 2007 for Spanish speaking National Human Rights Institutions on the prevention of torture under the project 'Actors for Change'. The workshop, catering for thirty participants from eleven institutions, followed a successful eight week distance learning course and included visits to several detention centres. The event was officially launched by the Costa Rican Vice President Ms Laura Chinchilla Miranda in the Museum for Children, which was the former Central Penitentiary.
The capacity building programme 'Actors for Change' covers a three year period. It is offered by APT in cooperation with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and is composed of a distance learning phase, a workshop and a final assignment which consists of drafting a practical action plan.
The participants in this segment include staff from institutions in Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Prior to the Costa Rica workshop the participants completed an eight week CD-ROM based distance learning course which included assignments with individual feedback from APT tutors. This phase focused on background knowledge on the legal and technical aspects of torture prevention.
The workshop from 26 to 30 November is dedicated to practical skills training and aims to improve the application of the knowledge acquired in real-world contexts, including during visits to several units of the La Reforma prison and a centre for immigrants.
In the third phase of the programme, the participants will draft an action plan on torture prevention, which they are encouraged to present for actual adoption by their institution.
Acting Ombudsman Daniel Soley speaks at the opening, in the presence of the Vice-President of Costa Rica,