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Human Rights Implementation Centre and partners awarded over €2 million for international torture prevention projects

Press release issued: 7 October 2010

The University of Bristol’s Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRIC), which seeks to address the effective implementation of human rights, together with partners in Africa and Europe, have been awarded two grants totalling nearly €2.4 million by the European Commission (EC). The funding will contribute towards research into torture prevention in Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The HRIC, together with its partners, the University of Cape Town, the Community Law Centre of the Western Cape and the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, have  received nearly €1.2 million for a three-year collaborative project, to assist African institutions working for the prevention of torture. Under the leadership of Debra Long, it aims to develop a package of tools to be used by African institutions to improve the level of compliance by African states with their obligations to prohibit and prevent torture and other ill-treatment.

The EC has also awarded the HRIC, through Dr Elina Steinerte, and its partners Penal Reform International and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, nearly €1.2 million for an additional three-year project that aims to strengthen, support and assist with developing torture prevention mechanisms in nine countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, which includes Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Based at the University's School of Law, the HRIC brings together academics from a range of disciplines to develop expertise on the role institutions can play in correctly implementing human rights by working with human rights organisations, national institutions, and governments from all over the world. The HRIC also works with regional and inter-governmental bodies such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe as well as relevant mechanisms of the United Nations.

Rachel Murray, Professor of International Human Rights and Director of the Centre, said: “The Centre has developed considerable expertise in the field of torture prevention and has become known as one of leaders in its field for expertise on national mechanisms to prevent torture. We are looking forward to building on this experience and working with a broad range of institutions to help improve the implementation of human rights across the world.”

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