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Training session for law enforcement officers on the mandate of Moroccan NPM

Mr. Mohammed Sabbar, Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), participated in the inauguration of a training session on the prevention of torture on 25 September 2018 in Bensliman, Morocco. This workshop aimed at strengthening the capacities of members of auxiliary forces in the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The training program was dispensed by Mr. Abdellah Ounnir, member of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Mr. Abdelhak Eddouk, staff member of the CNDH. The program included issues such as: Treaty bodies dealing with the prevention of torture, National Mechanism for the Prevention of torture (NPM) and Prevention within the context of auxiliary forces work, etc.

This training session took place on 25 and 26 September 2018. It followed the promulgation of the Law No. 76. 15 on the reorganization of the CNDH which broadened the mandate of the Council to include the NPM, the national redress mechanism for children and the national mechanism for the protection of the rights of people with disabilities.

The findings of the study of international experiences on NPMs showed that most State parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) assigned the mandate to existing institutions. 68 States have a NPM and 45 States (66%) of them chose to entrust this competence to existing institutions. While only 16 countries (around 25%) chose to create new institutions for this end.

Law 76- 15 provides for several guarantees to enable the Mechanism to exercise its mandate effectively, such as:
- Enabling the mechanism to conduct regular visits to various places of deprivation of liberty, as well as unexpected visits or whenever the CNDH requests so (Article 13);
- Public authorities concerned with places of deprivation of liberty are required to enable members of the NPM, upon request, to obtain all information, to access all places of deprivation of liberty and to conduct private interviews with persons deprived of liberty without witnesses (Article 15);
- Protecting staff working in places of deprivation of liberty from false allegations made via any means (Article 16, Paragraph 2);
- Etc.