Image description: Photo of presenters at the OPCAT forum, the people in it (from left to right) are from government bodies, Scott McDougall (QHRC), Iain Anderson (Commonwealth Ombudsman), John Chesterman (OPA), Sophia Rinaldis from AHRC, and from civil society organisations, Steven Caruana from Australian OPCAT Network, Debbie Kilroy from Sisters Inside, Matilda Alexander from QAI, Kate Greenwood from ATSILS, Samuel Lane from Prisoners Legal Service management committee and Vanessa Krulin from ADA Australia.
On 1 December 2022, The Public Advocate, the Queensland Human Rights Commission and Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion (QAI) co-hosted the Queensland OPCAT Forum.
This event brought together key stakeholders from government and civil society across Queensland to discuss implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).
The forum heard powerful presentations from people with lived experience of detention and included a Civil Society Forum facilitated by QAI, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, Prisoners Legal Service and Sisters Inside.
During the Civil Society Forum, six recommendations for an effective implementation of OPCAT in Queensland were presented. They have now been endorsed by a number of community organisations and sent to The. Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.
They recommend that a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) should include:
1. Coverage of OPCAT to all places of detention in Queensland
2. A standalone independent statutory entity
3. Formal collaborations with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)
4. Formal collaborations with people with lived experience of detention in monitoring activities
5. Clear communications to people in detention; and
6. Improvements to Inspector of Detention Services Act 2022 (Qld)
Read the full recommendations here: