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National Preventive Mechanism in Poland. Setting - up 8. 07. 2005 – OPCAT Ratification 18. 01. 2008 – Human Rights Defender as NPM.

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Presentation on theme: "National Preventive Mechanism in Poland. Setting - up 8. 07. 2005 – OPCAT Ratification 18. 01. 2008 – Human Rights Defender as NPM."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Preventive Mechanism in Poland

2 Setting - up – OPCAT Ratification – Human Rights Defender as NPM

3 Why Human Rights Defender? Not to assign the same competences to several institutions Cost saving Independence of HRD

4 Difficulties Lack of financial independence multi – faceted character of HRD activity Complaints concering NPMs activity 1800 establishments to visit – 8 people

5 Organization 1 team 8 people Support team

6 Methodology of the visit

7 Reasons for unannounced visits to places of detention are more effective, allow to detect actual problems of the visited establishment, express the actual state of observance of rights of persons deprived of liberty.

8 Preparing the visit Establishing the composition of the visiting team - interdisciplinarity requirement - gender balance - nominating the coordinator of the team - the division of tasks Gathering information on the establishment - reports from previous visits - reports of international (e.g. Committee for the Prevention of Torture), national (e.g. Supreme Control Chamber) and non-government organisations - generally available information, e.g. official websites - the number of complaints or lack of complaints

9 The visit Preliminary talk with the director Viewing the establishment and the facilities Group and individual interviews with the detainees Interviews with the staff of the establishment (tutor, psychologist) Documentation analysis Summing-up conversation with the director

10 Preliminary talk with the director Presenting the schedule of the visit and the methodology to be employed, deciding on the place where the team will meet during the visit Getting preliminary information, e.g. on extraordinary incidents, cases of self- aggression, as well as disciplinary and court proceedings against the officers Signalling the summing-up conversation

11 Viewing the establishment and the facilities compliance with the binding norms of national and international law premises – dormitories, transition wards, common rooms, walking grounds and sport grounds, rooms where personal control is carried out, visiting facilities, bathrooms, sick rooms, isolation wards, kitchens, etc.

12 Kliknij, aby edytować format tekstu konspektu Drugi poziom konspektu Trzeci poziom konspektu Czwarty poziom konspektu Piąty poziom konspektu Szósty poziom konspektu Siódmy poziom konspektu Ósmy poziom konspektu Dziewiąty poziom konspektuKliknij, aby edytować style wzorca tekstu Drugi poziom Trzeci poziom Czwarty poziom Piąty poziom Group and individual interviews with the detainees Individual interviews Random selection Avoiding making interviews solely with persons volunteering to be interviewed Choice of location – neutrality

13 Group and individual interviews with the detainees earning trust highlighting the confidential and voluntary nature of the interview check-list – a useful interview tool open questions, e.g. describe your daily routine in the establishment

14 Kliknij, aby edytować format tekstu konspektu Drugi poziom konspektu Trzeci poziom konspektu Czwarty poziom konspektu Piąty poziom konspektu Szósty poziom konspektu Siódmy poziom konspektu Ósmy poziom konspektu Dziewiąty poziom konspektuKliknij, aby edytować style wzorca tekstu Drugi poziom Trzeci poziom Czwarty poziom Piąty poziom Group and individual interviews with the detainees Group interviews spontaneous talks during the inspection of the living wards the way of selecting the respondent helpful in defining common problems, in getting to know the specific character of the place

15 Interviews with the staff of the establishment tutors, psychologists, security officers opportunity to verify certain information obtained from the detainees learning the point of view of the staff

16 Documentation analysis Documentation made available on the site register of disciplinary punishment, register of complaints made by persons deprived of liberty register of the use of direct coercive measures Documentation made available for post-visit analysis: internal rules and regulations procedures followed in case of revolt, reports carried out by other authorities

17 Summing-up conversation with the director preparing for the conversation - meeting of the visiting team - exchanging information - formulating major observations launching a dialogue with the management of the establishment – reporting the initial findings informing about the post-visit report

18 Post-visit reports composition of the team, date of the visit general description of the establishment detailed themes of the visit (living conditions, food, medical care, treatment of the detainees, penitentiary work, employment, cultural and educational activity, correspondence, visits, religious services) documentation analysis conclusions and recommendations

19 Kliknij, aby edytować format tekstu konspektu Drugi poziom konspektu Trzeci poziom konspektu Czwarty poziom konspektu Piąty poziom konspektu Szósty poziom konspektu Siódmy poziom konspektu Ósmy poziom konspektu Dziewiąty poziom konspektuKliknij, aby edytować style wzorca tekstu Drugi poziom Trzeci poziom Czwarty poziom Piąty poziom Post-visit reports Recommendations suggesting solutions to the existing problems, e.g. ensuring that persons who have direct contact with the detainees, especially ward supervisors, get adequate training and support, to eliminate cases of ill-treatment of detainees ordering the recommendations depending on the weight and significance of the identified problem

20 Post-visit reports Addressees: - management of the establishment - supervisory bodies - judge supervising the unit - chief chaplain - non-government organisations (Agreement on the Implementation of OPCAT, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights)

21 Verifying how the recommendations are implemented Awaiting the reply from the addressees of recommendations (about one month) Exchange of correspondence with the management of the establishment (and with its supervisory bodies, if necessary) Ad-hoc visits

22 Examples of violations Sobering station – behaviour of the staff Rooms with transparent walls in psychiatric hospital Youth sociotherapy center – punishment Overpopulation in penal institution

23 Outcome of NPM activity Rasied human rights awarness of the society Conferences invitation Dialogue with persons in charge of places of detention Motions to State bodies and Constitutional Tribunal

24 Thank you for your attention Sources: Report of the Human Rights Defender on the Activities of the National Preventive Mechanism in Poland in 2009, Human Rights Defender Office, Warsaw 2010 Monitoring Places of Detention: a practical guide, APT Geneva 2004 Photographs used in the presentation come from


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