It is increasingly recognised by international experts that
monitoring places of detention through regular and
unannounced visits constitutes one of the most effective way to
prevent torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their
liberty. Visits can be carried out by international mechanisms,
such as the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture,
but they should be complemented by visits at the national level.
Among possible national visiting mechanisms, national nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) possess some interesting
advantages, the most important one being their independence
from the authorities. NGOs monitoring places of detention can
be both a civil society watchdog and contribute to the respect
of human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty.
Accordingly, the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT)
and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights (ODIHR) decided to promote monitoring programmes by
national NGOs and to publish this guide.
Through reference points and questions, this guide is aimed at
helping NGOs to set up and implement a monitoring
programme of places of detention. It deals with issues such as
obtaining the authorisation of access, establishing the
programme of visits, as well as the methodology of visits and
the follow-up to the visit. The guide also presents and
comments on international standards to be looked at during a
visit, such as the standards on treatment, protection
measures or material conditions.
This guide has been written by Annette Corbaz, a consultant to
the APT, who enjoys more than ten years experience in visiting
places of detention with the International Committee of the Red
Cross.
Association for the Prevention of Torture
Route de Ferney 10 - P.O. Box 2267
1211 Geneva 2 - SWITZERLAND
Phone: (41.22) 919.21.70
Fax: (41.22) 919.21.80
www.apt.ch - e-mail : apt@apt.ch
ISBN 2-9700214-1-2

Monitoring places of detention: a practical guide for NGOs

Monitoring places of detention:
a practical guide for NGOs

Monitoring
places
of detention:
a practical
guide
for NGOs

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