Trailblazing European web system for Barcelona University’s Human Rights and Penal System Observatory

A trailblazing web system in Europe for reporting institutional violence

Barcelona University’s Human Rights and Penal System Observatory (Observatorio del Sistema Penal y los Derechos Humanos: OSPDH) has set up the Institutional Violence Communication and Registration System (SIstema de REgistro y COmunicación de la VIolencia Institucional: SIRECOVI) with the support of the City Council of Barcelona and the Consell de l’Advocacia Catalana, an umbrella organization taking in Catalunya’s 14 professional lawyers’ associations.

Developed with GMV technology, this trailblazing system in Europe enables victims, informers and human-rights defense organizations to report abuse through a private communication channel on a web platform. Cases of institutional violence in prisons, police stations, probation centers, foreigner internment centers or certain activities of security forces on the public thoroughfare can now be reported easily and confidentially.

GMV has developed this platform according to such aspects as security, user-friendliness, accessibility and, above all, data confidentiality, safeguarding at all times the privacy of the persons involved.

The web tool now made available to social organizations and the public at large provides all the wherewithal for reporting any presumed case of institutional violence and also shows how to activate the corresponding victim-protection protocols. It will also help in OSPDH research, providing a database for the study of institutional violence and mapping the various cases.

The portal does not in any way replace the due procedural mechanisms or stand in for the judiciary. Rather is it a new mechanism provided by OSPDH to forestall any cases of violence perpetrated by state officials or private security guards carrying out public functions.