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Training for African National Human Rights Institutions
Lemigo Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda, 19-21 May 2015

A staggering number of people are detained, sometimes for years, while awaiting trial. In Africa, pretrial detainees make up an average of 35 percent of the prison population. The result is overcrowded cells, human rights violations and enormous economic and social costs.

The overuse of pre-trial detention is a pressing and important issue worldwide, and especially in Africa. Representatives of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from 24 African countries will therefore meet in Kigali, Rwanda, from the 19th to 21st of May 2015, for a training workshop on the role NHRIs can play in addressing the problem.

The main objective of this training event is to enhance the capacity of African NHRIs to identify the causes and consequences of the overuse of pre-trial detention and to develop institutional strategies which can contribute to a reduction. This may mean addressing issues such as vague or bad laws, lack of resources, corruption, and political pressure to be ‘tough on crime’.

The first component of this event kicked off in April 2015 with a two-week online course. The workshop in Kigali, hosted by the National Commission for Human Rights of Rwanda, will allow participants to continue to deepen their knowledge and understanding of pre-trial detention and the different strategies they can use to reduce its overuse. The event will focus on interaction and peer-to-peer exchange of ideas and good practices between participants.

This event is part of a three-year project initiated by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI), entitled “A continent United against Torture.” The main objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of NHRIs to prevent torture in Africa.

The project is funded by the European Union.

For more information about the project, see: http://www.apt.ch/en/national-human-rights-institutions/ and www.nahnri.org or contact: Ben Buckland , Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) : bbuckland@apt.ch; Lenser Anyango Adongo, Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI): lanyango@nanhri.org

Reducing the Overuse of Pre-Trial Detention – Training for African National Human Rights Institutions