CTI high-level seminar: Ratification and implementation of UNCAT in the Pacific

As a region with strong democratic and rule of law traditions, the Pacific has strategic importance in accelerating ratification and active implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT, or Convention). The region already has many good laws, policies and practices in respect of constitutional and legal frameworks, governance and the administration of justice, while challenges remain.

This high level regional seminar, being hosted by the Government of Fiji and convened by the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI), in partnership with the Universal Rights Group, the Regional Rights Resource Team of the Pacific Community, and supported by the Commonwealth, aims to support Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) in overcoming some of the technical and capacity constraints preventing ratification and/or full implementation of UNCAT. In particular, it will provide an opportunity for countries in the Pacific and beyond to share experiences and exchange on national practices around processes of legislative review and drafting anti-torture laws or amendments.

Objectives of the seminar

Within the overarching aspiration to inspire PSIDS to reach regional universal membership of UNCAT and to support implementation, the objectives of the seminar are to:

  • Promote dialogue and cooperation among countries of the Pacific region and beyond on prevention of torture and ill-treatment;
  • Hear good practices and success stories in the prevention and response to incidents of torture and other ill-treatment through legislative reform and existing legislative approaches;
  • Identify elements needed to construct an effective anti-torture legislative framework and reflect on and ‘map’ relevant national laws, to consider the degree to which they already cover obligations contained in UNCAT and to take stock of areas where legislative changes may be required or recommended;
  • Explore and share successful approaches of States in adopting national anti-torture laws, considering the most suitable approach taking account of national contexts.

The seminar is by invitation only. If you are a Pacific UN Member State and interested in participating, please contact Juergen Schurr, CTI’s Senior Programme Manager or Charlotte Marres, Senior Analyst, Universal Rights Group, at