With the presence of the President of the Republic Michelle Bachelet, Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz, and the Minister of Justice and Human Rights Jaime Campos the Regional Seminar "Implementation of the United Nations' Convention against Torture in Latin America and the Caribbean: sharing national experiences in legislative and institutional matters" was inaugurated today.
In the inaugural speech, Minister Muñoz highlighted that the doctrine of human rights has advanced considerably since the Universal Declaration in 1948 was written and signed. Nevertheless, he regretted "that unfortunately we still participate in serious violations of these rights". On the topic, he indicated that police violence, prison overcrowding, torture against vulnerable groups such as LGBTI, children, and adolescents, and defenders of human rights, are some of the visible cases brought by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Committee against Torture.
"All that we do to preserve human dignity, to amplify rights, and achieve an extension of the accomplishment of international commitments will help us in making this world a better place for all women and all men", expressed the Secretary of State. He added, "prevention and sanction of torture require that the States adopt diverse strategies, national and international, to promote and protect human rights".
During the inauguration, President Michelle Bachelet announced the bill that designates the National Human Rights Institute as the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture. "This way, the Chilean State gives fulfillment of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which establishes the responsibility to create national mechanisms of prevention against torture. They will guarantee that, through the periodic visits of the places deprived of liberty and with a collaborative dialogue with authorities, the conditions, and treatment of people deprived of liberty will improve along with the conditions of arrest and the general system of the State arrest centers" she stated.
This ceremony gave beginning to the Regional Seminar carried out until tomorrow at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Seminar will count with the participation of nearly 60 Vice Ministers and government representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean, and also with experts whose labor on the matter of eradication and prevention of torture in the region and world have been remarkable, among which is Chilean lawyer and academic, Claudio Grossman.
The purpose of this event is to give a space for discussion between panelists and representatives on the ratification of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) and the present challenges during the implementation of this international instrument on national legislations.
The Regional Seminar is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, in cooperation with the universal ratification of the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI), and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).
Since 2014, Chile, along with Denmark, Morocco, Indonesia, and Ghana, launched the CTI on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention against Torture for the achievement of the universal ratification of this international treaty for 2024.
Chile has ratified all its United Nations international instruments on human rights, including the Convention against Torture, on September 1988, and it Optional Protocol (OPCAT), on December 2008.