A5I torture prevention seminars in Cape Town and Burundi

The aim of the fourth workshop in South Africa was to consult on the draft Plan of Action developed during the third consultations, and obtain buy-in from key represented stakeholders, while in Burundi the fourth workshop was focussed on preparing for reporting in the upcoming review of Burundi by the UN Committee against Torture. The seminars took place 8-9 on July 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa and 18-20 August 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi.

In Burundi the A5I provided training to the Commission Nationale Indépendante des Droits de l’Homme (the Burundian National Human Rights Commission) on monitoring places of detention. After training the Commissioners on using the monitoring tool as developed for the Burundian context, the Commissioners and A5I team went to the Mpimba prison to test the monitoring tool and refine it. The visit allowed the Commissioners to get immediate hands-on experience based on a tool specifically developed for the context in which they operate.

There has been a keen interest from the Commission in reinforcing their technical capacity to monitor places of detention, especially in the context of the recent ratification of OPCAT by Burundi and the need to develop a National Preventive Mechanism. The Commission is one of the possible institutions that could take up this role.

In South Africa, the aim was for the stakeholders to take the Plan of Action forward by committing to have their organisations drive some of the actions identified in the Plan. In order to allow stakeholders successfully to identify actions to be taken, the workshop was opened with panel presentations by experts in the policing and correctional services sectors respectively, aimed at identifying key challenges in their fields of expertise.


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