On December 15-16, 2022, staff members of the Department for Implementation of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and regional representatives of the Ombudsperson Office participated in a two-day practically oriented training in Warsaw (Poland) on peculiarities of the NPM realisation in the context of the ongoing war of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The training covered 20 newcomers to the NPM in the Ombudsperson Office and its regional offices from Uzhhorod, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Khmelnytskyi, Kropyvnytskyi, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Lviv.
Experienced international consultants of the Council of Europe Mr George Tugushi and Mr Victor Zaharia carrying out the training proceeded from the fact that NPM is operating in the new specific environment which largely affects the working methods and operational capacities of the NPM. In this regard the training was focused on the challenges the NPM may encounter within the current military context as well as methodologies that should make the work of the NPM in the current situation more efficient.
The training among basic issues on the NPM operation related to the planning, implementation of the monitoring visits to the places of deprivation of liberty and its post-visit activities was also focused on the following subjects as: interviewing techniques, format of communication with the administration of various institutions, and effective reporting. Special attention of the participants was taken to the challenges created by the war and some new areas the NPM need to cover in addition to the traditional places monitored under the mandate.
During the training, Mr Artem Volodin, Director of the Department for Implementation of the NPM and Mr Roman Leshchenko, Advisor to the Ombudsperson, stressed that the specialists of the Ombudsperson’s Office carry out monitoring visits in difficult conditions, in front-line zones, including during bombings of the territory of Ukraine. Such circumstances present the new challenges to the NPM staff during the monitoring visits that might require adoption of the new working methods and further training.
The National Preventive Mechanism is a system of regular, independent visits to any place under the jurisdiction and control of the state, where persons deprived of their liberty are held or may be held, by order of a state body or at its direction, or with his knowledge or tacit consent. These visits are carried out to strengthen, where necessary, the protection of such persons against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The Council of Europe Project "Supporting implementation of the European human rights standards in Ukraine" is aimed at supporting the effective implementation of the European human rights standards, combating ill-treatment and rehabilitation of victims of torture, strengthening the operational capacity of the Ombudsperson Office.