Prishtinë, 14 January 2016 – Based on Article 17 of the Law on Ombudsperson, entered into force last July, the Ombudsperson Mr. Hilmi Jashri, has singed the decision for establishment of National Preventive Mechanisms and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment (NPM) as a separate structure within the scope of Ombudsperson Institution (OI).
Establishment of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM) is in compliance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), which determines the scope of Mechanism functioning. National Preventive Mechanism conducts inspections of places in which persons deprived of their liberty are held including police stations, pre-trial detention centers, prisons, custodial settings, immigration detention (refugee camps) psychiatric or social care institutions (old age homes, mental health institutions), child protection units, care facilities and residential units for elderly and persons with disabilities as well as all other facilities where suspicions on violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms can occur. Concerns identified during inspecting visits are revealed in reports with recommendations with the intention to achieve progress as per improvement of treatment of people deprived of liberty as well as of standards of physical and infrastructural conditions within these facilities for detained persons but also for those working there as well.
OI has continually monitored premises of confinement and treatment of peopled incarcerated there, but officially established mechanism, based on OPCAT, sets new features and requests of inspection. In this regard, the possibility of involvement of experts from other fields apart jurists, especially doctors, psychologists and social workers experienced in this field, is a new feature. Furthermore, the Law enables engagement of professionals and specialized experts who will participate on inspection visits and will have equal rights and liabilities with other OI personnel. The ability to use experts is perhaps the most significant added value of inspection activities by NPM, actually Ombudsperson.
In realization of its statutory functions, NPM will closely work with organizations of civil society, which are active and specialized in this field. This cooperation is based on provision of quality expertise, according to OPCAT standards, during regular visits conducting to places where persons deprived of their liberty are located. While, in terms of international cooperation, the NPM will participate in meetings of South‐Eastern Europe NPM Network, of Europe NPM as well as cooperation and regular contacts with Committee for Prevention of Torture (CPT).
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