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Implementing the Convention against Torture (CAT): sharing best practice and experience in preventing torture in police custody in the Middle East and North Africa (WP1426)


In partnership with Convention against Torture Initiative.

In association with Bristol University and the National Human Rights Council of the Kingdom of Morocco (CNDH).

Today, almost all countries in the MENA region have ratified the Convention against Torture. There is greater awareness of the need to enact laws, policies and regulations to monitor places of detention and thus prevent torture. However there is still much more that can be done. Just two MENA countries have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and there are concerns that domestic laws in some states may require significant improvement to be consistent with the Convention. Further work may also be needed to ensure the full implementation of laws that should protect against mistreatment within places of detention.

This regional workshop provided a neutral space for candid discussion, on a non-attributable basis, about the key challenges to implementing the Convention Against Torture, with a focus on eliminating torture in police detention. Convened in partnership with the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI), it also built on a Wilton Park meeting in March 2015. The meeting was also held in association with the Human Rights Implementation Centre of the University of Bristol.

Through frank and off the record discussion under the Wilton Park protocol, participants  shared best practice, innovative approaches, challenges and opportunities and sought ways in which to enhance future co-operation.

The expert roundtable  provided a forum, on the basis of the provisions of the Convention Against Torture, to:

  • Explore options for viable solutions to prevent torture in police detention
  • Exchange best practice and lessons learned in the implementation of torture-prevention policies and programmes
  • Strengthen informal dialogue between key actors in the MENA region

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