Participants in NPM workshop pose in a group photo after opening ceremony (Photo: NCHR, 2018)

In collaboration with the Association of Prevention against Torture (APT), the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) organized a two-day workshop on the strategic understanding and implementation of the NPM mandate within the National Commission for Human Rights of Rwanda, held in Kigali from 17th-18th July 2018. The workshop brought together Commissioners and staff of the Commission. The objective of the workshop was to revisit the OPCAT spirit and preventive approach with a special focus on NPM (NPM DNA). It also aimed at refreshing minds of participants on the OPCAT in general, in continuation of the workshop held in January 2018.

During the workshop, participants presented and discussed advantages, opportunities, challenges and specificities of integrating the NPM mandate within the Commission. Basing on a SWOT analysis, participants also discussed and identified in concrete the necessary changes or reforms for an effective integration of NPM mandate within the Commission in regard to internal procedures in general. 

Participants understood the specific NPM working methods and the importance of strategic planning. Through exercise, they identified next steps for an effective start of NPM work within the current working dynamics of the Commission. Furthermore, participants understood the meaning of the necessary cooperation and dialogue with relevant authorities as well as interaction with other actors for effective prevention. In this regard, participants discussed and identified communication strategies and tools to be put in place to facilitate effective and efficient start of the NPM work as well as its visibility.

The Commission came up with a draft roadmap towards its good start and onward effective operation as NPM. The roadmap will comprise internal organization, NPM work and communication and cooperation with other actors. The later will guide the Commission to improve conditions of detention and the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.