Partnership to strengthen National Human Rights Institutions

Over a three-year period (2013-2015) the APT and the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) worked together to increase the torture prevention capacity of African National Human Rights Institutions.

The project, entitled ‘A Continent United Against Torture’, stems from a recognition that National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are among the most important actors in the field of torture prevention. Launched in Morocco in 2013, the project involved a series of online and face-to-face training activities on topics identified as areas of need by the participating institutions:

  • Detention monitoring (Uganda, November 2013 and Togo, May 2014)
  • Investigating allegations of torture (South Africa, April 2013)
  • Training of public officials (Cameroon, November 2014)
  • Reducing the overuse of pre-trial detention (Rwanda, May 2015)

In addition to these thematic activities, the project included two high-level opening and closing conferences, in Rabat, Morocco and in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The heads of NHRIs that gathered for these two events drafted and committed to two landmark documents: The Rabat Declaration and The Yaoundé Declaration. These declarations include long-term and specific commitments to torture prevention by African NHRIs that will ensure the sustainability and impact of the project, long after its completion.


The project has resulted in a number of impressive initiatives and activities by participating NHRIs in their countries. The outcome report shows the many innovative and creative ways in which they have used their new skills and knowledge to more effectively prevent torture.

Read the report

In addition to the full report, APT and NANHRI worked with some of the participating NHRIs to illustrate through short videos how the project has strengthened capacities within the four themes of the project:

Investigating cases of torture in Uganda from APT Geneva on Vimeo.

Training of the police in Namibia from APT Geneva on Vimeo.

Reducing the over-use of pre-trial detention in Rwanda from APT Geneva on Vimeo.

Monitoring des lieux de détention à Maurice from APT Geneva on Vimeo.

Preventing torture in Africa - Voices from the closing conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon, October 2015 from APT Geneva on Vimeo.

The APT appreciates the support of the EU, which funded and supported this project.