An assessment of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) in South Africa

After signing the Optional Protocol to UNCAT (OPCAT) in 2006 and ratifying it in March 2019, South Africa designated a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) being the coordinating structure. Since ratification in March 2019, it appears that to date, the NPM has not been fully functional and institutional arrangements for visiting places of detention under the banner of the NPM remain unclear. There is also uncertainty as to how the constituent parts of the NPM will fulfil the responsibilities under OPCAT. In view of the above, the members of the Detention Justice Forum (DJF) agreed to assess the operational functionality of the NPM in the respective sectors of the DJF member organisations. This also provided an opportunity to identify issues for clarification on the NPM’s mandate and its relations with other components as well as government departments responsible for places where people are or may be deprived of their liberty. This report provides the findings of the assessment performed amongst members of the Detention Justice Forum (DJF) based off a questionnaire that was developed. This report was prepared by K Petersen & J Mangwanda, December 2022.

Year: 2023
Resource Type:
Courts Systems
Fees and Fines
Human Rights
Pre-trial Detention
South Africa
People Groups:
People in Detention
Duty Bearers
Policy Reform
Campaign Partner:
Africa Criminal Justice Reform