The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), through its system of preventive monitoring of places of detention, provides State Parties with systematic observations and recommendations by the international UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT) and National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) concerning the protection of persons deprived of their liberty against torture and other ill-treatment. Currently 24 NPMs are currently designated to carry out visits to places of detention in the EU.
In addition, the SPT is mandated to provide advice aimed at strengthening the capacity and mandate of the NPMs, and has developed recommendations and guidance on the establishment and functioning of NPMs. At the same time, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) periodically visits detention facilities in Member States of the Council of Europe and provides detailed reports and recommendations.
Flowing from these three levels of monitoring activities is a vast body of recommendations helping States to prevent torture and other ill-treatment. In order to ensure that these recommendations are implemented in practice, effective procedures and methodologies of follow-up as well an effective coordination and cooperation between the different monitoring bodies are increasingly important. In addition, EU institutions can potentially play an important role in following-up and integrating these recommendations into EU level policies and decision-making to promote effective implementation of standards to prevent torture and other ill-treatment across the EU.
This project aimed to strengthen the effective implementation and follow-up of recommendations made by torture monitoring bodies on the national, regional and the international levels by conducting comprehensive research on good practices of follow-up procedures. Furthermore, the project aimed to support and improve coordination between NPMs, the CPT and the SPT through a series of workshops. In addition to the monitoring bodies themselves, the project targeted civil society actors and representatives of EU institutions.
The collected practices and lessons learnt were subsequently analysed in a Good Practice Study. The Good Practice Study was also published as a booklet and thus useful for practitioners and policy-makers.
Moritz Birk, Gerrit Zach, Walter Suntinger
Gerrit Zach: email@example.com