23 June 2016 

 MG 7203The officers for prevention of torture from 16 European countries converged in Vilnius on 21-23 June 2016 where the training on prevention of torture was held on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

The workshop "Monitoring of Psychiatric Facilities" co-organized by the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) and Association for Prevention of Torture (APT) took place in the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office.

Psychiatrists from Great Britain and Austria, working in the sphere of human rights and experts from the Committee against Torture of the United Nations, European Council and Association for Prevention of Torture have taught European officers in Vilnius.

The concerns on how to talk to people with mental disorder, what issues to focus on when visiting psychiatric institutions and what problems with people face when are in psychiatric facilities were the highlight of the training. Moreover, the participants of the training visited the Rokiškis psychiatric hospital on the second day of the workshop. 

Delivering the keynote address on the first day of the training, the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas pointed out that individuals living in mental institutions are extremely vulnerable, so the particular attention should be devoted towards the protection of their rights. MG 7261

"It is a great honour to host this international training co-organized by the IOI and APT on such an important topic. More importantly, it is a privilege to host this event on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the OPCAT, which empowered many institutions across the world to seek higher human rights standards for people in places of detention.

Moreover, I hope that the training will enhance knowledge of the participants carrying out this function in their home institutions," the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office, Mr. A. Normantas welcomed participants of the workshop.

The central objective of the seminar was to explore issues of mutual concern relating to the monitoring of psychiatric institutions and to deepen the understanding of the main risk situations related to psychiatric facilities.

Furthermore, the workshop focused on the development of skills to handle particular challenges relating to the monitoring of psychiatric institutions and exploration of strategies to follow-up on visits to psychiatric institutions and overcome challenges such as gaps in standards or legislation.