The creation of a system of regular visits to places where persons are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture or subjection to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, led to the creation of a structure to assist the Ombudsman in the performance of the tasks of the National Preventive Mechanism, namely, identifying of places of detention, planning and conducting the visits, making the data acquisition and its analysis.
The National Preventive Mechanism is therefore assisted by the Supporting Structure to National Preventive Mechanism, which is open to the participation of persons who, by their activity on certain entities which pursue the primary objective of guaranteeing citizens’ rights, or because of its recognized individual merit, could contribute to the effectiveness of the tasks entrusted to the National Preventive Mechanism. Its organisation is composed of the following organ:
a) The Advisor Council;
b) The Steering Committee;
c) The Visitors Team;
d) The Administrative Support.
The Advisor Council is the main organ of consultation of the National Preventive Mechanism and is composed of twelve members.
The Steering Committee, consisting of five elements, executes the plan of activities, ensures the conduct of visits to places of detention through the Visitors Team, as well as assists the National Preventive Mechanism in the development of its mission.
The Visitors Team consists, mainly, of nine people of the Ombudsman staff appointed for that purpose, having as primary task the implementation of inspection visits and the preparation of the respective proceedings.
In order to achieve that goal, the National Preventive Mechanism may also request the participation of other members of the Ombudsman’s staff, as well as of experts on the technical and scientific knowledge appropriate to the purpose of each visit or taking into account the characterization of the places to visit.
The Administrative Support of the Structure to National Preventive Mechanism is provided by an official of the Ombudsman’s staff designated for that purpose.
The Regulation of the Support Structure of the National Preventive Mechanism can be read here.