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Initiative of Public Defender of Georgia on expanding National Preventive Mechanism

Monitoring and protecting human rights in penitentiary and other closed institutions  is the vital obligation of Public Defender of Georgia. While executing its duties within the framework of National Preventive Mechanism, Office of Public Defender of Georgia permanently monitors penitentiary institutions, responds to cases of inhuman treatment and provides society with the information on existing situation in penitentiary institutions by annual and special reports. 
Events that took place in penitentiary system in September 2012 strengthened public interest for gaining comprehensive information on the situation in penitentiary institutions, reforms and issues related to preventing torture and inhumane treatment. Public Defender of Georgia decided to ensure participation of interested parties, organizations, relevant experts and individuals in monitoring undertaken by National Preventive Mechanism in order to increase involvement of competent experts in monitoring process, to make the process transparent and to provide the society with exhaustive information on issues of their interest.
On the basis of the Public Defender’s decision, list of NPM experts will be renewed and expanded intended for strengthening social monitoring. Any interested individual, who will satisfy relevant criteria and will be selected by the commission of high public credibility, will have the possibility to be represented in the list. In order to undertake comprehensive, effective, objective and independent monitoring, mentioned list will encompass experts with different backgrounds, in particular:
Lawyers with experience in monitoring penitentiary institutions, who do not practice law and other individuals (10 experts);
Doctors with general specialization, who have experience in identifying signs of torture and inhumane treatment (3 doctors);
Psychiatrists (2 experts);
Psychologists (2 experts);
Social workers (1 expert);

Expert in juvenile justice (1 expert);
Expert in monitoring military hauptfachts and military units (1 expert);
Expert in gender issues (1 expert);
Experts from regions having relevant qualifications and experience (Kutaisi, Batumi, Zugdidi)
These individuals will permanently participate in planned and if necessary in ad hoc visits with National Preventive Department under Public Defender of Georgia. 

Due to high public interest in penitentiary system, Public Defender of Georgia decided not to limit his work with annual reports or with reports on situation in the penitentiary institutions, but to quarterly provide society with information on monitoring results by special quarterly bulletins.

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