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Our Ambassadors and Mentors

Graphic: Torture Prevention Ambassadors and Mentors meet in Mongolia

In September 2014, the APF and the APT called for nominations of senior representatives from APF member institutions to serve as Torture Prevention Ambassadors.

Following a merit-based selection process, nine Torture Prevention Ambassadors (six women and three men) from national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in seven countries were appointed.

They were supported to implement their projects by two project mentors, Marco Mona, an expert in torture prevention, and Chris Sidoti, an expert on national human rights institutions.


Police officers and others stand with the TPA sign

Find out more about the Torture Prevention Ambassadors Project, and the outcomes of the different country initiatives, in our Good Practice Report.


Torture Prevention Ambassadors

Australia

Sarah Dillon, Policy Officer and Prabha Nandagopal, Principal Adviser
Australian Human Rights Commission

Changing minds, changing laws: addressing cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of asylum seekers

Objective: A heightened public awareness of the deleterious impacts of mandatory indefinite immigration detention on the health and wellbeing of detainees, particularly children, leading to increased public support for reform in this area to make law and policy consistent with international human rights obligations

Maldives

Zulaikha Dawood, Inspection Officer, National Preventive Mechanism
Human Rights Commission of the Maldives

A platform for strengthening the national OPCAT system

Objectives: Revive the National OPCAT Coordinating Committee as a platform to follow up and implement recommendations of the NPM and SPT; develop Operating Guidelines for the National OPCAT Coordinating Committee; consolidate the NPM's operation procedures into one manual for internal efficiency and translate into English to share with NPMs globally.

(This project was commenced by Jeehan Mahmood, former Commissioner, and Fathimath Ibrahim Didi, former head of the NPM)

Mongolia

Oyunchimeg Purev, Commissioner
National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia

Enforcing the law, preventing torture

Objectives: Develop sustainable approaches to training law enforcement in torture prohibition and prevention; enhance key actors knowledge about relevant UN recommendations relating to torture and an NPM

Mongolia

Agar-Erdene Gankhuyag, Head of Policy Analysis and Human Rights Education
National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia

A manual for prevention

Objective: Build the capacity of current and future NHRI staff to undertake the role of NPM by developing a prison monitoring manual and training staff on its use

New Zealand

Michael White, Senior Legal Officer
New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Expanding the scope and reach of OPCAT monitoring

Objective: Investigate whether OPCAT monitoring in New Zealand can be expanded in scope to address existing gaps where elderly and others groups are vulnerable to abuse

Philippines

Jacqueline De Guia, Regional Office Director
Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines

Partnering with the police for prevention

Objective: Improve police welfare to trickle down to result in benefits in the way detainees are treated, thus reducing risks of torture and ill-treatment

South Korea

Young-Hye Kim, Commissioner
National Human Rights Commission of Korea

From reacting to abuse and ill-treatment in detention to preventing it

Project objective: Improve treatment in military mental health hospitals and immigration detention facilities, and raise public and stakeholder awareness about OPCAT and the need for preventive monitoring.

Timor Leste

Sidonio Soares, Civil and Political Rights Monitoring Team
Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice

Tackling torture in Timor-Leste

Objective: Build the capacity of NHRI to gather and record information on torture and ill-treatment through its monitoring work; and build partnerships between NHRI and civil working in prisons

Graphic: Mentor Marco Mona with Ambassador Zulaikha

Project mentors

Providing each Torture Prevention Ambassador with a mentor was critical to the successful implementation of their respective projects.

Our two mentors were able to draw on their vast experience in the areas of torture prevention and the role and functions of NHRIs in order to provide expert guidance and advice at each stage of the project.

Marco Mona is a Swiss lawyer working in a small law firm in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, primarily serving migrant worker clients. He is a former judge and prosecutor and for the past 30 years has played an important role in developing the global torture prevention movement. He is a former President of the APT, an honorary member of the APT Advisory Council, and a former member of the Swiss NPM.

Chris Sidoti is a long-time human rights advocate who has worked with non-government organisations, including as a former Director of the Geneva-based International Service for Human Rights, and as a former Australian Human Rights Commissioner. He has worked extensively with NHRIs, particularly in the Asia Pacific Region, for more than 30 years.


Image credits

  1. Torture Prevention Ambassadors and Mentors meet in Mongolia - APT/Rosita Ericsson
  2. Police officers and others stand with the TPA sign - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
  3. Mentor Marco Mona with Ambassador Zulaikha - APT/Rosita Ericsson