By BBN Staff: The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) will visit Belize for the first time from April 22-27.The purpose of the visit is to advise the Government on the establishment of a national monitoring body for all places of deprivation of liberty, officially known as the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM).
The Subcommittee will also assess how people deprived of their liberty are treated, and their conditions of detention, as well as which measures Belize has taken to protect them from torture and ill-treatment.
The SPT has a mandate to visit all States that are parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
“The International obligations of States that have ratified the Optional Protocol must imply tangible changes for people deprived of their liberty. Under OPCAT, the first step is to ensure that detainees are protected from torture and ill-treatment through the establishment of an independent, effective and well-resourced National Preventive Mechanism,” said Sir Malcolm Evans, Chairperson of the SPT, who will head the delegation.
“We are visiting Belize in order to assist the authorities to set this mechanism as well as to see the conditions of detention in the country” he added.
Among the places, the SPT delegation is due to visit are prisons, police stations, psychiatric centers and other places where people are deprived of their liberty.
The experts will also meet government officials, the judiciary, the Ombudsman, UN agencies, and representatives of the civil society.
The SPT delegation will comprise the following members: Sir Malcolm Evans, Head of Delegation (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Arman Danielyan (Armenia). June Lopez (Philippines), Aisha Shujune Muhammad (Maldives) and Victor Zaharia (Republic of Moldova).
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