National Preventive Mechanisms play an essential role in preventing torture and other ill-treatment. Latin American States must fulfil their obligations under the OPCAT to strengthen these bodies, by ensuring they are independent, properly resourced and skilled and have unhindered access to all places where persons are deprived of liberty. This was stressed by participants at the first Regional Forum on OPCAT, Preventing torture: a shared responsibility, convened by the APT in Panama from 30 September to 2 October 2014.

The Outcome Report highlights the key issues discussed during the three-day event. It provides an overview of NPM and LPM developments in the region and an analytical summary of the discussions:

  • Key elements for effective NPMs;
  • Risks faced by groups in situations of vulnerability in detention (women, LGBTI persons, indigenous people and persons with mental health problems) and the role of monitoring bodies to address their specific needs;
  • Strategies to follow-up on NPM and SPT recommendations;
  • Ways to mitigate the risks of reprisals against persons who cooperate with torture prevention bodies.

The report includes proposals for further action to a range of actors who all contributed to the Forum’s debates: States, NPMs and LPMs, civil society, the academia, the SPT and the APT.