Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights guarantee the right of all people to be free from torture and other ill-treatment. The Article 5 Initiative draws its name from these two articles, and is a partnership between the University of Cape Town (Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit), the University of the Western Cape (Community Law Centre), the University of Bristol (Human Rights Implementation Centre) and the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF).
The Article 5 Initiative aims to support African institutions to improve domestic compliance with international law obligations, norms and procedures under the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights. The Article 5 Initiative focuses on six post-conflict African countries, namely Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda.
The Article 5 Initiative is supported by the European Union through the European Instrument for the Development of Human Rights. For more information please see the official A5i website.
On 12 May 2014, Debra Long from the HRIC gave a briefing to members of the UN Committee against Torture on behalf of the Article 5 Initiative. The briefing was aimed at introducing the package of tools that have been developed by the Article 5 Initiative to assist efforts to domesticate the UN Convention against Torture in Africa. It also explored opportunities for these tools to support the crucial work of the Committee against Torture in the region.
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As part of its activities under the Article 5 Initiative, the HRIC organised a workshop on 13 and 14 November 2013 in Kampala, Uganda, to assist with the implementation of the new Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act. The workshop was organised with the assistance of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), and was held in collaboration with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the Omega Research Foundation (Omega).
The workshop brought together key representatives from government; parliament; police, prison and military services; and civil society to identify the short-term priorities for the implementation of the new anti-torture Act. The outcome of the workshop was the development of an action plan for 2014-15. This action plan highlights a range of measures aimed at raising awareness of the Act, improving oversight, identifying training needs and legal reform required to give effect to the Act. This action plan will be a useful tool for a range of national actors to develop strategies on the implementation of the Act and monitor progress over time.
In a related event, the HRIC also participated in a training workshop organised by Omega and the UHRC on 15 November 2013. The overall aim of this training was to sensitise relevant stakeholders on the forms of military, security and policing equipment which may constitute torture within the meaning of the new anti-torture Act; the issues associated with the use of these weapons; and to provide practical tools and techniques to record, identify and monitor them.
For more information about the Article 5 Initiative please contact:Debra Long at firstname.lastname@example.org
See also the Article 5 Initiative website: http://a5i.org/
The Article 5 Initiative is pleased to announce the launch of its manual, ‘Practical Monitoring Tools To Promote Freedom From Torture’. This manual follows three years of consultations and pilot testing of the tools in six African States (Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda). A copy of the manual can be downloaded from the Article 5 Initiative website at: http://a5i.org/publications/
This publication contains the tools that have been developed under the project – the ‘Domestication and Implementation Packages’ (DIPs), as well as guidance on how to use these tools and a description of the background to the project.
The DIPs have been developed to form a package of tools that can be used by a range of actors to help improve compliance with the obligations to prohibit and prevent torture and other ill-treatment set under the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT). The DIPs address the four broad duties imposed by the UNCAT:
The tools are made up of i) Guidance Notes - which explain in detail the obligations contained in the UNCAT and provide information on what is required in order to comply with these obligations in practice; and ii) Checklists – these are aimed at monitoring the extent to which the obligations in the UNCAT have been complied with by States parties and identifying any areas that require reform.
The DIPs have a number of practical applications such as:
The Article 5 Initiative therefore hope that the DIPs will be of use to a wide range of actors including government officials; police, prison and military officials; parliamentarians; legal practitioners; national human rights institutions; civil society organisations and other human rights defenders.
For more information about the Article 5 Initiative please contact: Debra Long at email@example.com
On 3 and 4 December 2012 a second stakeholder workshop was held in Uganda as part of the Article 5 Initiative. The workshop was organised with the assistance of the Uganda Human Rights Commission. The aim of this second workshop was to pilot test checklists that had been prepared as part of a toolkit for the domestication of UNCAT. The workshops had an important capacity development component and brought together a range of key national stakeholders and experts. The workshop also enabled an early review of the recently adopted Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, which received Presidential Assent in July 2012.
Between 17 and 18 July 2012 the HRIC held its first consultation in Uganda under the Article 5 Initiative (A5I). The A5I is a partnership between the HRIC and the University of Cape Town; the University of the Western; and the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF). The project is supported by the European Union through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. The aim of the A5I is develop a package of tools, ‘Domestication and Implementation Package’ (DIP), to assist African institutions with the domestication of the UNCAT. The first workshop was organised with the assistance of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) as the in-country liaison for the A5I in Uganda.
The first workshop brought together a range of key national stakeholders including representatives from the President’s Office; Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ugandan Police Force; Ugandan People’s Defence Force; Ugandan Prisons Services; High Court; EU; OHCHR; UHRC; and civil society organisations. The objective of the workshop was to introduce the A5I and the first draft tools in order to get feedback on the drafts for further revision to maximise their relevance and impact. Two further workshops will be held in Uganda in 2012 and 2013 under this initiative.
For more information about the A5I please contact Debra Long or visit the A5I website: www.a5i.org