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UNCAT helping to drive justice sector reforms: CTI Caribbean event report out

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Geneva, 25 September, 2018: The Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) and Wilton Park release their report of the regional seminar on “Sharing experiences and building capacity in the Caribbean: The Fair Administration of Justice and the UN Convention against Torture,” held in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, from 4-6 June 2018. The report contains numerous positive national practices in building an effective administration of justice in States throughout the Caribbean.

Highlighting many good reasons for ratifying the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), the report shares how ratification and implementation of the Convention can support decision- and policy-makers in their efforts to reset justice sector priorities and reform existing practices.

Covering police, prisons and juvenile justice issues, the report emphasizes, among others:

  • the importance of establishing adequate standards and accountability frameworks;
  • the need for senior management buy-in in order to change police and prisons cultures;
  • professional recruitment, vetting and promotions processes, as well as continuous training, to ensure high quality officers as well as ethnic and gender diversity;
  • codes of conduct, legal and procedural safeguards and using the latest technology to improve efficiencies and fairness and to reduce complaints;
  • the different experiences and needs of juveniles and other vulnerable persons who come into conflict with the law and how best to accommodate them.

Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat, stated on the release of the report:

I hope that this report will inspire ongoing intra-regional dialogue. Without doubt, there is strong commitment in the Caribbean for the principles underlying the UN Convention against Torture and States understand that one of the greatest benefits of ratifying UNCAT is how the Convention reinforces matters of domestic priority. CTI will continue to support countries in the region in their efforts.”

The report also details a number of good practices and experiences in establishing independent monitoring bodies, complaints-handling mechanisms, reporting to the UN Committee against Torture, and the role played by NHRIs and Parliamentarians, lawyers, judges and prosecutors in preventing and responding to incidents of torture and ill-treatment and ensuring the fair administration of justice.

The event brought together over 40 participants, including representation from 10 Caribbean countries*, five being represented at ministerial level.

For governments interested in learning more about CTI’s work in the Caribbean, please contact info@cti2024.org.

The report is available in English here.

The event programme is available here.

CTI’s series of practical Implementation Tools can be found here.

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