login | registration | forgot the password
newsmail subscribe:

Launching the Project "Inventory list of detention places as necessary precondition of NPM designation in Ukraine"

08.02.11 | Andrew Chernousov, Svetlana Shcherban

Ukraine has ratified the Optional Protocol to UN Convention Against Torture on June 21 2006. Since that date the State has to designate/establish or appoint a National Preventive Mechanism(s) against torture and ill-treatment. Proposed by the OPCAT system is basically concentrated on the prevention of torture and ill-treatment rather than on investigation and reaction on the given facts. The Protocol is based on the statement: the more transparent custody the less occurrence of torture and ill-treatment. The most known and efficient method of NPM functioning is systematic visits of independent monitors (lay visitors, members of the public). Kharkiv Institute for Social Researches initiated monitoring of detention places in police in 2004. Since that time weve expanded the monitoring activity on all detention places in police (in year 2009 the general number of visits were 840) and on children asylums in Kharkiv, Poltava and Sumska Regions. But since the OPCAT does not provide any criteria or the list of the detention places. Moreover, considering our personal monitoring experience (more than 150 visits) were tending to extend the term custody and include so called places of compelled staying, where the person is under States care (custody). So weve decided to make an inventory list of all such places to help promotion of the NPM. The project is targeted on collecting data from Governmental bodies which has such places of detention.

Before establishing or designating of the NPM it is mandatory composing a inventory list of all establishments to be monitored. The inventory list will allow:

To receive a precise information about the number of detention places and persons held there;

To identify resources needed for monitoring (personnel, costs);

To provide society and local communities precise and detailed information about conditions, regimes and way of treatment with persons deprived of the liberty (compelled staying);

To direct efforts of civil control in the designated directions;

To optimize selection of the NPM model within the State;

To identify the circle of governmental institutions authorized to send people to detention places.

Were foreseen to identify main criteria for composing inventory list of detention places, which will allow to more precisely figure out types of detention places to be monitored in accordance with OPCAT requirements.Preliminary we could identify some of such criteria: compulsory emplacement according to the decision of Governmental body, long staying, restricted access from outside, regime restrictions, persons are not allowed to leave etc. We also planned to send information requests to regional Governmental bodies in all regions of Ukraine, which have detention places under their jurisdiction. Besides requests were planning to arrange working meetings with managerial boards of different levels and experts from appropriate bodies which have detention places under their jurisdiction with the purpose of persuading them to be a part of the list. Download the image of the drawing here.