A recent example of the training our Office can provide in the Pacific was the visit of three of our staff to Vanuatu in late March, to deliver training in prison investigations and inspections.
The two-day workshop provided practical skills on handling prisoner complaints, investigating systemic prisoner issues, conducting inspections, and writing effective reports under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).
The training also triggered many useful discussions and connections among the Vanuatu Ombudsman’s Office, Police, Correctional Services, Border Control and the Health Department.
The importance of these relationships was reinforced, and we were impressed by the strong collective desire to do things differently.
Since our training, two prison visits have been carried out by the Vanuatu Ombudsman, following a period of years in which none took place. This is an encouraging start, and we’ll stay in touch with the Vanuatu Ombudsman and agencies to provide further support as needed.
Source: Office of the Ombudsmen of New Zealand