APF Community Contact us
News : Article

APF co-hosts workshop on ‘Mendez Principles’ for effective interviewing

Graphic: Screenshot of "From coercion to justice" video

The Mendez Principles offer a concrete alternative to the use of torture and coercion during investigations.

Association for the Prevention of Torture LogoAssociation for the Prevention of Torture
Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

The APF, in partnership with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), has co-hosted a workshop to launch the Principles on Effective Interviewing or the 'Mendez Principles'.

Years of research shows that traditional interrogation methods are not only unreliable and counterproductive but often violate human rights. The Mendez Principles offer an alternative to the use of torture and coercion during investigations, replacing these with rapport-based interviews which protect the dignity and fundamental rights of persons suspected of crimes, as well as victims and witnesses. 

Held on the 26th of October, the online workshop was attended by 106 participants from National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) across the Asia Pacific region, with representatives from countries including Malaysia, Maldives, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste to name a few. 

The workshop was an opportunity for NHRI representatives to be introduced to the principles, and to explore how they apply to the work of NHRIs, particularly with respect to the role of institutions in disseminating and raising awareness of the principles. 

“The Mendez Principles represent a new standard for effective interviewing, grounded in scientific evidence and based on good practices,” said Kate Turner-Mann, APF Manager of Capacity Development. 

“The principles are a useful tool to strengthen the work of NHRIs, especially relating to their monitoring and reporting work to ensure human rights are upheld,” she said. 

The APT has launched a website dedicated to the Mendez Principles, which range from setting the foundations of effective interviewing, to offering guidance on the practice of interviewing, including for persons in situation of vulnerability, and also cover training, accountability, and implementation. 

The APF will continue to work in collaboration with NHRIs and the APT to further explore how institutions can utilise the principles in their work. 

Date: 1 November 2021

Image credits

  1. Screenshot of "From coercion to justice" video - Association for the Prevention of Torture