IOI Secretary General, Günther Kräuter, opened the first IOI Training specifically designed for Ombudsman Institutions functioning as National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). The 2,5-day learning experience was hosted by the Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia.
In close cooperation with the renowned Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) the IOI developed a training format focussing on the implementation of a preventive mandate. As part of their duty to protect and promote human rights, an increasing number of Ombudsman Institutions is vested with the power to prevent torture in accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention for the Prevention of Torture (OPCAT). As a result the demand for such a tailor made programme within the IOI community was high. The fact that 31 Ombudsman and top-level staff from 22 different IOI member institutions from Europe, Africa and Asia took part in this training further illustrates the timeliness of the training.
The exceptional experts of the APT facilitated an interactive and informative programme, that did not only serve to impart knowledge to the participants, but also to exchange views and experiences. Case studies, group discussions and mapping exercises were used to jointly elaborate on how to ensure a maximum impact of the NPM, on which role external actors play or on the importance of public relations strategies or the ethics of monitoring.
The IOI regularly offers training workshops on a variety of subjects to its members free of charge. In addition, it provides several scholarships covering travel and accommodation cost for staff from institutions with limited resources.