Meeting of European ACATs
Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT)
Brussels 18 April 2009
Representatives of European ACATs gathered in Brussels on 28 April 2009.
The purpose of this meeting was to bring together the European ACATs to pool their efforts to have the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) ratified and implemented.
Campaign for ratification of the OPCAT
A presentation was delivered on the OPCAT, the mechanisms it establishes and what the human rights NGOs can do to promote its ratification, implementation of the (National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) and follow-up of their work.
The ACATs represented described what they were doing, individually or in alliance with others, to work towards ratification of the OPCAT and implementation of the NPMs.
ACAT Germany intended to write the Länder to urge ratification.
ACAT Netherlands wished to work with MPs to restart the process.
Switzerland was waiting for the referendum of 10 July but could introduce the mechanism in advance.
ACATs’ Representatives agreed that there is a need for sharing among the European ACATs
Thus, exchanges on ACATs activities on the OPCAT will be continued.