19 December 2011
Official launch of new project to prevent torture in Africa On 13 December 2011 the “Article 5 Initiative” (A5I) was officially launched in Cape Town, South Africa.
The continued and widespread practice of torture in Africa is a real and weighty challenge
The Article 5 Initiative aims to support African institutions to improve domestic compliance with international law obligations, norms and procedures under the United Nations Convention against Torture and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. A5I is focusing on six post-conflict African countries, namely Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda and will work closely with national actors within these countries, as well as the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The beneficiaries of the A5I are people deprived of their liberty, who are at risk of torture and other ill treatment.
In his keynote address at the launch, Justice Vincent Saldanha, Judge of the Western Cape High Court, stressed the need for all stakeholders to continue the fight against torture, and Commissioner Dupe Atoki, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, noted that “[t]he continued and widespread practice of torture in Africa is a real and weighty challenge, the prevention and eradication of which requires creative initiatives, the building of synergies and the complete engagement and commitment of all relevant stakeholders.”
A5I is a partnership between the University of Cape Town (Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit), the University of the Western Cape (Community Law Centre’s Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative), the Human Rights Implementation Centre of the University of Bristol and the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum. The project is supported by the European Union through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.