Correction facilities: ‘Monitoring prisons necessary to ensure inmates’ rights’

The United Nations seminar at the Sindh Judicial Academy was the first of its kind.


Ppi October 03, 2013
It was noted that, though prison rules have always included provision for the monitoring of prison systems by official and non-official visitors, the concept has never been regularised. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: Systematic monitoring is important to ensure the provision of basic human rights for prisoners, the participants of a seminar were told on Thursday.

The first prison visitors’ seminar in Pakistan was organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at the Sindh Judicial Academy. The moot was told that prisons are closed environments that separate prisoners from society and public view, leaving those in custody vulnerable to poor conditions and treatment.

The examination of conditions of confinement through systematic monitoring is important for ensuring basic human rights, limiting the risk of ill-treatment and regulating measures used to manage and control prisoners.

It was noted that, though prison rules have always included provision for the monitoring of prison systems by official and non-official visitors, the concept has never been regularised. Consultations with government officials and members of civil society who work in prisons in Pakistan confirmed the need to develop monitoring tools to help them appreciate international standards and know how to interact with prisoners.

On the first day of the two-day moot, Glenn James Ross, an associate professor at the Edith Cowan University Australia’s School of Law and Justice, and Shah Salman Khan, a former correction advisor for UN Mission in Sudan, conducted the moot which was attended by judges, lawyers, social workers and government functionaries.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2013.

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