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Advocacy for implementation of OPCAT

The IAN CRTV objective is to raise public awareness around torture and ill treatment issues and to advocate for the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture in the Republic of Serbia .

What is the Optional Protocol?

On 18 December 2002, the UN General Assembly adopted the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against the Torture (OPCAT). The aim of the OPCAT is to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment by establishing a system of regular visits to places of detention carried out by independent international and national bodies.

Despite the fact that torture and other forms of ill-treatment are prohibited under national low, these abuses still continue to be widespread. Persons deprived of their liberty are most at the risk as they are cut off from the outside world and solely dependent upon the authorities for their most basic needs and rights. The OPCAT offers a novel approach as no other international treaty provides for concrete steps to prevent these violations from occurring within places of detention worldwide.

The OPCAT re-establish a system of regular visits to places of detention carried out by complementary international and national expert bodies. Upon ratifying or acceding to the OPCAT, States Parties are accepting unannounced visits to places of detention by these bodies.

The first body within this system of visits will be a new international body, a "Sub-Committee" to the Committee against torture. The second part of this system will be visits conducted by national bodies (national preventive mechanisms). When the OPCAT enter into force, within one year of ratifying or acceding to it, States Parties must have in place one or several national preventive mechanisms. No particular type of national mechanisms is specified, therefore Human Rights Commission, Ombudsmen, Parliamentary Commissions, or NGOs, could be designated to carry out this function. States Parties must ensure that this national bodies function without any interference from the State authorities.

On 25 th September 2003, the State Union of Serbia and of Montenegro signed the Optional Protocol to the latter Convention against Torture (OPCAT). Three years later Republic of Serbia ratified OPCAT on 26 th September 2006.

Advocacy for the implementation of the Optional protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) and establishment of independent national preventive mechanisms of monitoring of places of detention is one of the goals of future IAN CRTV activities.

 

 


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