On Friday, PRI and its partner the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) launched the a new joint publication – the Detention Monitoring Tool – at the Palais Wilson, Headquarters of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
Monitoring bodies are most effective when they focus on a preventive approach, ie going beyond the primary documentation of individual cases, and comprehensively analysing situations of risk and recommending systemic changes. The Detention Monitoring Tool therefore intends to provide analysis and practical guidance to support monitoring bodies, including National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs), to fulfil their preventive mandate as effectively as possible when visiting police facilities or prisons.
The Tool was launched over a social lunch for members of the UN Subcommittee for Prevention of Torture (SPT), the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, all meeting for a joint session.
Over 60 guests were welcomed by Mark Thomson, Secretary General of the APT, and the Tool was introduced by PRI’s Regional Director in the South Caucasus, Tsira Chanturia, who explained how the Tool had been developed, piloted and refined with members of the Georgian National Preventive Mechanism earlier in the year.
Short interventions followed from the Chair of the SPT, Malcolm Evans, the Chair of CAT, Claudio Grossman and the UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez, who welcomed the Tool in particular in the light of the growing need for practical tools to build the capacity of civil society monitoring mechanisms.
About the Tool
The Tool is a pack of resources and includes four thematic papers and five Factsheets.
The thematic papers analyse broader themes that will benefit from a comprehensive monitoring approach, examining regulations and practices throughout the criminal justice process with a systemic lens, such as gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, or institutional culture:
The factsheets provide practical guidance on how monitoring bodies can focus on a number of systemic issues that are particularly high risk factors for torture or ill-treatment:
The Tool was developed jointly by PRI and APT as part of PRI’s three-year EU funded project, Strengthening institutions and building civil society capacity to combat torture in nine CIS countries, which aimed to strengthen monitoring mechanisms, including National Preventive Mechanisms, and to develop their capacity to counter torture and ill-treatment.
It is currently available in English and Russian in hard copy and will be available in other languages online – please check back at www.penalreform.org and www.apt.ch.