The members of the Council for the Prevention of Torture and the representatives of the People's Advocate Office from the Republic of Moldova participated between 13-16 September 2022 in an extensive training and on-site coaching to improve their capacities for organizing preventive visits in penitentiaries. They studied in practice how to organize a preventive visit step by step, including the actions before, during and after the visit.
"The training course combined theoretical elements and practical tools under the guidance of exceptional trainers. In the same way, it was demonstrated that the monitoring processes are dynamic activities, permanently subject to reorientations, advancements, for this reason, the monitors are to refresh their strategies, to adapt to the new requirements to which respect for human rights invites us. In particular, the debutant civil servants appreciated the opportunity offered, categorizing it as a source of new skills and multilateral development. Through the direct involvement of civil servants, the new potential of the People's Advocate Office was strengthened", said Alexandru Zubco, Head of the Torture Prevention Division, People's Advocate Office in the Republic of Moldova.
The 2 coaching sessions took place in penitentiary No. 4 from Cricova. For this, the coordinators of the subgroups developed the plans of the preventive visits jointly with the experts of the Council of Europe. As a result, the participants self-assessed their performance during the visit to the penitentiary considering the preliminary findings and drew up the visit report based on international standards, as well as "tasks to be accomplished" for the next stage of the visit to the penitentiary.
The members of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) appreciated the practical aspects of the workshop. The participants were able to apply the methodology of performing monitoring visits, learn the interviewing technique with inmates as well as drafting visit reports. At the same time, they mentioned that the moderators provided information on how to apply international standards during the visit to the penitentiary and shared their own experience in planning and carrying out monitoring visits, before and after the visit to the penitentiary.
The Republic of Moldova has assumed its commitments in the implementation of international standards for the eradication of torture, including through the National Preventive Mechanism. Thus, during the training and practical workshops, the experts of the Council of Europe relied on the Methodology for planning and performing preventive visits to different places of detention, which provides a strategic vision and a systematic approach to NPM.
The Council of Europe Project " Strengthening the Human Rights Compliant Criminal Justice System in the Republic of Moldova" contributes to further strengthening the criminal justice system of the Republic of Moldova in the areas of combating ill-treatment and establishing a basis for a more humane approach towards sentencing in criminal cases.