Conforming to standards, delivering on commitments: Ukrainian authorities attend workshop on global and regional instruments to prevent torture

Over 40 representatives of 10 Ukrainian state institutions (primarily of the law enforcement bodies) including the Security Service of Ukraine, the General Prosecutor's Office, and the National Police, upgraded their knowledge of effective adherence to core international and regional treaties on prevention of torture.

873F28DF454656567567766Kyiv, 15 August 2016 – the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine hosted a working session for building awareness of law enforcement agencies of the country's commitments under the international and regional mechanisms for prevention of torture. The session was co-chaired by an expert tandem of Mr. Arman Danielyan, Member of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, and Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
During the workshop, participants reviewed in detail the practical aspects of obligations of a state party to the UN Convention against Torture (1984), the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1987), and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (2002), monitoring places of deprivation of liberty as well as the structure and the mandate of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) and European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT).
DSC 0465456557"UNDP has been pleased to support Ukraine with both the national preventive mechanism and the international treaty body review which are both critical parts of the international commitments that Ukraine has made," noted Blerta Cela, UNDP Deputy Country Director in Ukraine, in her welcome speech. "We are honored to contribute to this event today which we hope it will help Ukraine's efforts to better adherence to human rights principles, including prevention of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment."
Ms. Fiona Frazer, Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission to Ukraine added in her remarks that many positive changes in the area of prevention of torture in Ukraine could be noted in the last 2 years, but many issues still required concerted efforts on behalf of the state.
The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska, in turn, elaborated on the issues of human rights monitoring of the places of deprivation of liberty at the national level. She emphasized that the National Preventive Mechanism's function was implemented on the national level through the so called "Ombudsperson Plus" mechanism, which has also been supported by UNDP over the last years.
Amongst other things, as the Ukrainian NPM model "Ombudsman +" was being designed and developed, UNDP assisted with expert advice and training for the Ombudsperson's Office staff that would have to shape the nucleus for the new system of countering and preventing torture in the country. UNDP also stood by the Ombudsperson's Office in solving the challenges that were faced by the nascent mechanism. Inter alia, UNDP has been investing in training of the civic activists / human rights defenders who constitute the "+" part of the mechanism, whereby certified and trained non-OO representatives get a dedicated mandate of the Ombudsperson for access to the places of deprivation of liberty and may record observed violations.