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Meeting in Cambodia

This is the brief Terms of Reference (ToR) for the fifth Regional Network Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on January 24 & 25, 2009.

Once again the time has come for the regional network workshop of the EU-OPCAT project, this time in Phnom Penh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Cambodia. As before, this will be a two-day event on January 24 & 25, following the workshop on the implementation of the OPCAT and the establishment of the NPM in that country.

This year’s regional network meeting will be graced by Hans Draminsky Petersen, Vice-President of the UN Sub-Committee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT), who will also be the guest speaker at the event.

The last regional network workshop was held in Manila, the Philippines in September 2008; and some of the salient outcomes and decisions taken at that event are:

  • Welcoming Dr. Saira Khan representative of Odhikar, as our new partner from Bangladesh;
  • Outcome of the fact-finding mission to Cambodia; and the decision to conduct a multi-stakeholder NPM workshop in Cambodia in 2009 followed by the regional network meeting—similar to that held in Manila;
  • Update on project activities of Balay (Philippines) and the PAT network (Sri Lanka) including strategies to overcome obstacles when campaigning for the OPCAT in challenging domestic contexts;
  • Modalities of conducting country studies on detention centres;
  • Possibilities of enhancing international and regional lobbying activities;
  • Strategies for partners to assist each other in conducting joint campaigns in support of pressing issues in partner countries;
  • The possibility of creating a regional resource base on OPCAT;

[Details of presentations, discussions and decisions taken at the 4th regional meeting may be found on the project website at]

 Building on the outcomes of the workshop in Manila, the theme for this year’s workshop will be the progress in the country studies on detention centres. Accordingly, it is proposed that the national coordinators of Philippines and Sri Lanka make brief presentations on their respective endeavours in this regard including the challenges, limitations and modifications if any, required in their studies. National Coordinators of Bangladesh and Cambodia could examine the feasibility of conducting a similar study in their countries and also outline a proposed study that could be conducted within the time frame and budget available under the OPCAT project. (Day 2)

Of course as per previous meetings, we will allocate some time to discuss the progress in our country campaigns and most importantly, discuss our Action Plans for the final year of the project. (Day 1)

As the 2nd Narrative report is due to the EU soon, project partners will be handing over their completed project activity reports for the year 2008. The contents of these reports will forms the main report This will greatly assist the regional coordinator and project manager to prepare the Report; thus ensuring the smooth inflow of project funding. 

Finally, let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your untiring and splendid efforts to promote the OPCAT principles among your governments and citizens. I look forward to meeting and exchanging views with each and every one of you.

Note: This website is part of a Project promoting the Ratification and Implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) in 4 Asian countries viz. Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. It includes background information on the OPCAT, other relevant documents, case studies as well as regional and national activities undertaken in pursuit of the Project Objectives. The Project is an initiative of the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Denmark and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in Hong Kong and is funded by the EU Commission and the Danish International Development Agency (Danida).

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