Anniversary of National Preventive Mechanism in Ukraine: No one shall be subjected to torture or ill-treatment

This November marks the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the Law of Ukraine "On the amendments to the Law on the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Concerning National Preventive Mechanism", which is being implemented under the "Ombudsman Plus" model.

11539240 904753546259905302533339655 oThe Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) is an international human rights treaty designed to strengthen protection for people deprived of their liberty. It recognizes that such people are particularly vulnerable and aims to prevent their ill-treatment through establishing a system of visits or inspections to all places of detention. OPCAT requires that States designate a 'national preventive mechanism' to carry out visits to places of detention, to monitor the treatment of and conditions for detainees and to make recommendations regarding the prevention of ill-treatment.

Ukraine ratified OPCAT in July 2006 and designed its National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) only in November 2012. The scope of activities in this sphere is quite extensive, as the overall number of places of detention as defined by the OPCAT exceeds 6,000 institutions under the supervision of 11 ministries and state agencies. The "Ombudsman Plus" model means cooperation of the Ombudsperson with CSOs and public monitors foreseeing implementation of monitoring visits to places of detention by employees of the Office of the Ombudsperson together with public monitors. "On one hand, they are our best partners, assistants and, on another hand, there is more trust to our visits from society," emphasized the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska.

dfgfhgjhgj97658979678In this connection, the development of the NPM public monitors network is key to effective functioning of the mechanism at all. Certified activists possess the delegated mandate of the Ombudsperson to inspect places of deprivation of freedom together with the Ombudsperson's Office. This year, additional 21 civic NPM monitors were trained with UNDP support. To strengthen capacities of NPM monitors and experts, the publication on "Collection of Useful NPM Courses" was developed and published with UNDP support.
The Ombudsperson's Office and NPM monitors conduct systematic day-to-day activities, aimed at disclosing and preventing human rights violations. With the assistance of UNDP, the Ombudsperson's regional coordinators conducted 175 NPM visits in 2016.