Effectiveness of national preventive mechanisms in prevention of torture: the case of interconnectedness and cooperation
Lagat, Caroline Jepkosgei
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Twelve years after the adoption of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the designated African National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) are struggling to achieve effectiveness in conducting monitoring visits to places of deprivation of liberty to preventing torture and ill-treatment. In a bid to understand what makes NPMs effective, this thesis employed a comparative study between two European and African NPMs, selected for their different organisational structure, and analysed how their structures, independence, powers, working methods, and cooperation with other international monitoring bodies and stakeholders influenced their effectiveness. The NPMs’ and the international monitoring bodies’ reports, NPM-related national legislation of the case studies, torture-related UN and regional conventions, and publications by the Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT) and Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CAT) were analysed, and an interview conducted with the Slovene Deputy-Ombudsperson, who is also the head of the Slovene NPM. This thesis finds that, while there are many factors that make an NPM effective, they cannot be isolated from each other and the general working environment of the NPM. Therefore, just as national monitoring to prevent torture should adopt a holistic approach, implementing not only law but incorporating different measures suitable to the environment of the places of deprivation of liberty, a similar approach needs to be adopted to ensure NPMs effectiveness in Africa by looking at all factors relating to an NPM.