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CTI online regional technical workshop for the Commonwealth Caribbean

On 1-3 December 2020, the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) in partnership with REDRESS and the Commonwealth Secretariat will convene UNCAT: Experiences of ratification, legislative reform and reporting, an online regional workshop designed for supporting Commonwealth Caribbean governments in their efforts to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT).

Representatives from all Commonwealth Caribbean States are slated to attend the “by invitation only” event, which is a continuation of CTI’s ongoing activities* in the Caribbean and part of the encouraging, progressive peer-to-peer dialogue and cooperation on the ratification and implementation of UNCAT from which States can benefit. The CTI works closely with Caribbean governments bilaterally and through regional seminars to help strengthen the administration of justice, professional law enforcement and prison reforms in the region. At the online workshop, participants will be provided opportunities for the following:

  • Discuss the technical requirements of the Convention against Torture
  • Identify the elements necessary to construct effective anti-torture laws and amendments
  • Review existing national laws and assess legislative gaps and recommend adjustments

The workshop will provide ample opportunities for Caribbean participants to share their experiences of national legislative review processes and practices for Cabinet papers, and drafting of human rights laws and amendments. They will leave with enhanced technical skills in legal drafting for torture prevention and redress, supported by helpful feedback from experienced drafters. As a follow-up to the workshop, CTI and its partners will provide additional one-on-one guidance and information in the following months.

Comprised of stable, democratic countries committed to human rights, rule of law and the fair administration of justice, countries across the Caribbean remain steadfastly committed to strengthening institutional capacity and the maintenance of law - which are the cornerstones of the delivery of equitable justice and peaceful communities. Encouragingly, there is increased interest among Commonwealth Caribbean countries in joining UNCAT. Indeed, seven of the 12 Commonwealth Caribbean States are already party to the Convention.

While legislative compliance with UNCAT is not a prerequisite before ratifying the Convention, legislative “stocktaking” is a helpful preparatory step for Cabinet submissions proposing UNCAT ratification. Stocktaking serves as an important exercise, as States identify and evaluate implementation priorities.

*CTI’s December online workshop is part of the initiative’s ongoing efforts to support universal and regional ratification and implementation of UNCAT. These activities have included a regional seminar for Latin American and Caribbean States in Santiago, Chile, on “Implementing UNCAT in Latin America and the Caribbean: Sharing experiences of national legislative and institutional frameworks”, in April 2017; and CTI’s second regional event for Caribbean countries in Saint Lucia, on “Sharing experiences and building capacity in the Caribbean: The Fair Administration of Justice and UNCAT”, held in June 2018.

For more information about the workshop, please contact the CTI Secretariat at: info@cti2024.org.

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