Invitation to Human Rights Conference in Oslo 28 Oct 2014

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Norwegian Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Council of Europe, is pleased to extend an invitation to a conference on "The effects of international monitoring mechanisms to prevent torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty" to be held on 28 October 2014 in Oslo.

The conference is being held in connection with the 25th anniversary of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), and will be opened by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Børge Brende.

Many people are deprived of their liberty every year because they have committed criminal offences, because of mental illness or for other reasons. This puts people in a vulnerable situation, and both the United Nations and the Council of Europe have therefore established monitoring mechanisms involving international experts. Their tasks include conducting country visits to monitor the situation of people who are detained for various reasons, assess how they are treated and if necessary recommend changes. In Norway, the Storting (Norwegian parliament) has recently designated the Parliamentary Ombudsman as the National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

The purpose of the conference is to learn from leading experts in the field and discuss their work, with a particular focus on the situation in Norway. Some of the topics that will be discussed are as follows:

  • Do criticism and recommendations from international monitoring mechanisms result in real change for detainees?
  • How can different monitoring bodies work more closely together to strengthen implementation of international human rights obligations at national level?
  • To what extent have international recommendations changed the situation of people who are deprived of their liberty in Norway?
  • How do the authorities follow up the recommendation in both policy and practice?
  • How are the recommendations useful for NGOs and other civil society actors working with detainees?

We wish to bring together international experts, representatives of the Norwegian Government and Parliamentary Ombudsman, and representatives from academia and civil society to share experience, and to encourage broad debate. There will also be opportunities for questions from the audience.

The conference will take place on 28 October 2014 from 8.30 to 16.00 at Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, Kronprinsensgate 17, Oslo. The participation is free of charge. The number of participants is limited, and we therefore ask you to register as soon as possible and before 10 October 2014.

Please register for the conference here.

For more information and programme, see the conference website