As part of its goal to support Governments in their efforts towards ratifying and implementing the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) offers to organise high-level diplomatic and technical visits to interested countries.
CTI’s diplomatic and technical visits provide an opportunity for decision-makers, government officials and other relevant stakeholders to learn more about what being an UNCAT State party entails; what steps are needed to ratify/accede, report and implement; to share and take stock of existing national laws, policies, procedures and practices; and to identify and discuss benefits, opportunities and challenges to ratification and/or implementation.
The transition made so far in the Gambia is truly inspirational. We heard many positive developments in the justice, security and prisons sectors that signal that the new Gambian dispensation is committed to the rule of law and the fair administration of justice, which are issues at the heart of the Convention against TortureObservations of Deputy Minister Charles Owiredu, head of the CTI delegation’s visit to The Gambia in 2018.
Visits are tailored to the needs and wishes of the individual Government, and are not used to lobby or pressure.
Visits are constructive (“no name, no shame”) and confidential. Any publicity regarding the visit is at the discretion of the visited Government.
The CTI Secretariat will work in close partnership with the Government to tailor the visit to their priorities and needs.
The visits usually take place over 1-3 days; with the delegation composed of 3-5 members. The head of delegation will be at ministerial or ambassadorial rank from one of CTI Core States. S/he would be accompanied by senior government officials at diplomatic level or with technical expertise, together with representation from the CTI Secretariat.
An in-country visit can consist of one or more of the following elements:
- A schedule of meetings between the CTI delegation and Ministers covering relevant portfolios, notably foreign affairs, justice/legal affairs, human rights, and national security; and the Attorney-General’s Office.
- Other meetings with relevant policy-makers, permanent secretaries/heads of departments, covering, for example, police, security, the prison service, defence, women’s and/or children’s affairs, and health and/or social services.
- Other important stakeholders include the prosecution service, members of the judiciary, and/or Ombudsman’s Office, as advised by the Government.
- Visits to prisons and/or police stations or other places where persons are deprived of their liberty are optional and at the direction of the Government.
- A facilitated seminar or roundtable with relevant stakeholders can be arranged to coincide with the visit, or separately. CTI seminars involve expert facilitators and subject-specific specialists, and are oriented to sharing experiences of other countries. The programme would be jointly discussed between the CTI Secretariat and the visited Government.
- As part of the visit, the CTI delegation may also hold additional private meetings with Embassies of CTI’s Group of Friends based in the visited country, the United Nations, regional organisations or other relevant national stakeholders. This is key to shore up support for the visited Government for any ratification/implementation activities.
The holding of this seminar is an unequivocal promise of the Angolan executive to continue to make efforts and join the international community to ensure the effective implementation of international legal instruments that prohibit torture and all forms of cruelty and humiliationSecretary of State for the Interior of Angola, H.E. José Bamóquina Zau