20th APF Annual Meeting and Biennial Conference
Graphic: Man sits alone in a cell
Preventing torture and protecting the rights of people held in places of detention was the focus of the APF’s Third Biennial Conference.
Preventing torture and protecting the rights and dignity of people held in places of detention was the focus of the APF's Third Biennial Conference, to be hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia.
Across the Asia Pacific, staff and Commissioners from national human rights institutions (NHRIs) regularly monitor places of detention, from prisons and police lock ups to immigration detention centres and closed psychiatric facilities. These preventive visits, and the recommendations made by NHRIs to detaining authorities and governments, have helped drive positive changes to laws, policies, practices and community attitudes across many countries in the region.
The APF Conference featured presentations from leading speakers on the:
- Role of NHRIs to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and
- Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) and monitoring.
There were also presentations from selected APF Torture Prevention Ambassadors on the innovative projects that they are conducting in their countries.
Around 180 representatives from NHRIs, governments, civil society organisations and UN agencies from across the Asia Pacific attended the Conference, which was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on 28 August 2015, and hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia.
The APF's 20th Annual General Meeting was held prior to the conference, on 26-27 August 2015, involving representatives from all 22 APF members and other newly established NHRIs in the region.
Forum Councillors adopted the APF 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, which focuses on promoting and protecting the rights of especially vulnerable groups of people in the Asia Pacific region.
Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, led a dialogue on the role of NHRIs to protect and promote the rights of human rights defenders, involving APF members and civil society organisations from across the region.
Graphic: Participants at the APF Conference
NHRIs and Human Rights Defenders
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst; December 2014 (available in English, Arabic and Russian)
Addendum to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst; December 2014 (Addendum; Observations on communications transmitted to Governments and replies received)
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya; December 2013 (available in English, Arabic and Russian)
Human Rights Defenders: Protecting the Right to Defend Human Rights; OHCHR Fact Sheet 29 (available in English, Arabic and Russian)
Biennial Conference Papers
Preventing Torture: An Operational Guide for NHRIs; APF, APT, OHCHR (available in English, Arabic, French and Spanish)
Monitoring Police Custody: A Practical Guide; APT (available in English, Arabic and Russian)
Exploring the Root Causes of Improper Use of Force; Project on Enhancing Human Rights Protections in the Security Sector in the Asia Pacific (2014)
Conference Session 1: The Role of NHRIs in Preventing Torture and Other Forms of Ill-Treatment
Presentation by Dr Sima Samar, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
Presentation by Shazeera Zawawi, Association for the Prevention of Torture
Presentation by Sevean Doraisamy, SUARAM
Conference Session 2: Monitoring under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture
Presentation by Dr Jacqueline Miller, New Zealand Human Rights Commission
Conference Session 3: Engaging Law Enforcement and Security Forces
Presentation by Justice Shri Cyriac Joseph, National Human Rights Commission of India
Presentation by Nur Kholis, Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights
Presentation by Poengky Indarti, Imparsial
Conference Session 4: APF Torture Prevention Ambassadors
Presentation by Young-Hye Kim, National Human Rights Commission of Korea
Presentation by Agar-Erdene Gankhuyang, National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia
Presentation by Sidonio Soares, Office of the Timor Leste Provedor for Human Rights and Justice
- Man sits alone in a cell - APF/Michael Power
- Participants at the APF Conference - APF/James Iliffe