Call for Contributions: Newsletter of Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) N°01/2023 Theme: “Torture and Vulnerable Groups in Africa”


The notion of a vulnerable person involves taking into consideration a particular weakness of the individual. Vulnerability not only forms the basis for the construction of legal rules, but is also used here as a pragmatic legal instrument to reinforce existing legal protection that appears insufficient, or to make up for a lack of legal protection for the person in a given situation. The vulnerable person is thus seen as a functional concept, likely to adapt to any particular need for legal protection [Marion Blondel. La personne vulnérable en droit international. Droit. Université de Bordeaux, 2015. P.60]. Exposure to acts of torture requires specific protection, especially when it concerns vulnerable groups. What does torture mean? The UNCAT defines torture as follows: " any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions" [Article 1 of UNCAT.]. 

The CPTA's 2023 annual theme "Torture and Vulnerable Groups in Africa" aims to address the issue of protecting vulnerable groups from acts of torture in Africa. The topics to be addressed in this newsletter will provide answers to the following question: do vulnerable groups benefit from effective protection against acts of torture in Africa?

Without being exhaustive, the various contributors will be able to build their analyses around the following axes:
- Strategies for protecting vulnerable groups from torture: NGO experiences
- The legal framework for protecting vulnerable groups against acts of torture: how effective is it? 
- Vulnerable groups facing torture: the current situation 
- Etc.

Writing guidelines:
Number of pages: 5 pages maximum; font: Time new roman; size: 12; line spacing: single. At the beginning of the text, include a 100-word summary and a 100-word abstract in two different languages.  Authors should write the titles of their contributions in bold, font 14, Time new roman; with indications of first and last names followed by titles and institutions.

Deadline for submission: 
Authors must submit their original contributions by July 30, 2023, to the following address: 

Information notes:
The Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa, formerly the Follow-up Committee of Robben Island, is a special mechanism of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Under its terms of reference, the Committee must: 
- Organize, with the support of other interested partners, seminars to disseminate the Robben Island guidelines to national and international actors.
- Develop and propose to the African Commission strategies for the promotion and implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines at national and regional level.
- Promote and facilitate the implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines within member states.
- Report to the African Commission, at each ordinary session, on the status of implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines.