Oversight and transparency of places of detention through unannounced visits is key to eliminate the secrecy that is allowing torture and ill-treatment to happen. In 2015, Rwanda joined the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against torture (OPCAT). This comes with the obligation to set up a domestic oversight body, called the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). In Rwanda, the decision was taken to give this new preventive role to the National Human Rights Commission.
The APT has supported the legislative process revising the law of the commission ensuring that the NPM has the power to access all places of detention, to interview in private persons deprived of liberty and to consult any relevant information, register and file. Following the adoption of the law in 2018, the APT assisted the Human Rights Commission in integrating this new role in its work and structure. It also facilitated internal discussions and provided training on how to apply a new preventive approach and how to conduct visits to places of detention.