NPM Report to 30th Session of UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
On November 17, 2016, Nika Kvaratskhelia, Head of the Department of Prevention and Monitoring of the Public Defender's Office, addressed the participants of the 30th session of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture on behalf of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of Georgia. The organization's achievements and challenges were summarized at the event dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.
It should be noted that out of the world’s 65 national preventive mechanisms, representatives from only 3 countries - Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Norway were invited to this important event.
The report of the National Preventive Mechanism of Georgia emphasized the importance of the efforts carried out by the mechanism for 7 years, as well as the achievements and challenges. The report contained a clear message about strengthening the cooperation between the National Preventive Mechanism and state agencies in order to prevent torture and ill-treatment. The document praised the fact that the Special Preventive Group had been granted the authority to take photos in the penitentiary facilities, but it also noted that despite the relevant recommendation, the National Preventive Mechanism of Georgia still did not have unhindered access to the recordings of the surveillance cameras installed in the closed institutions. The report expressed particular appreciation to the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, which actively supports the strengthening of the National Preventive Mechanism of Georgia.
Speeches were delivered at the event by the Chairman and members of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, the Director-General of the United Nations Geneva Office, the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner, the Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Vice-President of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, United Nations’ former and current special rapporteurs on the issues of torture, a representative of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, the President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and a representative of the Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
The speakers spoke about the contributions made by the national preventive mechanisms to the prevention of torture and underlined the importance of supporting these mechanisms. In light of the evident international recognition and support, the Public Defender of Georgia hopes that the state agencies will assist as much as possible the National Preventive Mechanism of Georgia and will work closely with it.