Monitoring the prevention of torture in the Netherlands

February 28, 2013

IFHHRO has accepted an invitation to participate in the advisory board of a research project of Groningen University (the Netherlands). The study will focus on the functioning of the OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture) National Preventive Mechanisms in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands ratified the OPCAT on 28 September 2010 and has since designated six existing national inspectorate bodies, including a body on youth care and one on health care, as the National Preventive Mechanisms required under OPCAT. These bodies are coordinated by the Inspectorate for Justice and Security.

Challenges and weaknesses

Given the recent designation of these bodies, no information has been made available publicly on the functioning of these bodies in light of their duties under OPCAT. It is therefore necessary to study  whether the designated bodies in the Netherlands meet the expectations imposed upon them by the OPCAT. With funding from the Open Society Institute, the University of Groningen has started a research project on this matter. In this project the researchers aim to list the challenges and analyze actual and potential weaknesses in the Dutch health system when it comes to the prevention of torture and other types of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in health-care settings.

IFHHRO’s coordinator – Adriaan van Es, MD – will assist this project as a member of the advisory board. He is an experienced human rights advocate and trainer, and co-author of the Istanbul Protocol.

More information (website University of Groningen)