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  Home > Events > Platform on Cooperation of Civil Society Organisations in Prevention of Torture







Platform on Cooperation of Civil Society Organisations in Prevention of Torture
7 February 2013

On February 7th IAN organized press conference at UNS-Serbian Association of Journalists, with an aim to present the Platform on civil society cooperation in pursuing activities of the National mechanism for torture prevention NPM. Speakers at the conference were: Milos Jankovic, Deputy Ombudsman for the rights of persons deprived of their liberty; Doc. Dr Vladimir Jovic, a psychiatrist of IAN Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors and expert of the Ombudsman; Bojan Gavrilovic from Belgrade Center for Human Rights; Vesna Avramovic from the Association of psychiatric service users and their families "Soul“ , and Tijana Eror from International Aid Network IAN.

Platform was created within the project “Cooperation in Torture Prevention“, conducted by IAN International Aid Network, funded by the European Union through European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights EIDHR. The aim of the Platform is defining the role of civil society organizations in advocating for the human rights of detainees and effective protection against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Platform is supported by 18 organizations: International Aid Network IAN, Belgrade Center for Human Rights, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, the Initiative for the rights of people with mental disabilities- MDRI S, Civil associations More than aid - Aid +, Center for Empowerment of young people living with HIV/AIDS "AS", Center for the Status improvement and promotion of the rights of socially marginalized groups "New World", Association of psychiatric service users and their families "Soul", as those organizations supporting the project, followed by Lawyers Committee for Human Rights YUCOM, Human Rights Valjevo, Human Rights Centre Nis, Serbian Victimology Society, Human Rights Leskovac, Center for Society Orientation - COD, Women in Black, Committee Network for Human Rights in Serbia CHRIS, Association for Inclusion Promotion and Republican Association of Serbia for supporting people with autism.

All participants at the conference stressed the importance of participation of civil society in the realization of human rights.

Deputy Ombudsman for the rights of persons deprived of their liberty, Milos Jankovic, said that civil society organizations are due to the great knowledge and experience that is invaluable, directly involved in the work of NPM, through monitoring visits to institutions. During the past year, NPM conducted 69 visits to closed institutions, including 41 police stations, 10 social welfare institutions, 8 prisons and 4 psychiatric hospitals, also one Center for asylum, and Belgrade Airport Receiving unit for individuals in the process of readmission.

Vesna Avramovic from Association "Soul" said that to users of psychiatric services, who are largely invisible to the system, it is extremely important that their voices are heard. As the biggest problems users face, she pointed issue of long hospitalization and, above all, the guardianship, that is mostly degrading to psychiatric users, because it takes all human attributes away.

Vladimir Jovic said that he was pleased that the legislator recognized the importance of involving civil society in the NPM, because of the expert knowledge and experience which contributes to the quality and more open work of the National Preventive Mechanism. NGOs must work in partnership and assist state agencies to improve their services.

Participants agreed that the Platform sets the basis for better coordination of civil society in response to the violation of human rights in closed institutions.




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