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15.04.20

Building our Response on COVID-19 and Detention - OMCT Guidance brief

Our society at large, millions of detainees as well as prison staff are at risk. How should we respond to the challenge Covid-19 poses in places of detention? Read the new guidance brief from the global anti-torture movement.

Authorities have to re-organise life in a very sensitive environment. Places of detention are sometimes repressive, but they are also always fragile environments. Any change, even a minor one, is immediately noticed. Confinement measures in detention, far more than those outside of prisons, have an amplifying effect on detainees’ lives and on their physical and psychological well-being. This is part of the potentially explosive security environment in confining those already confined. Transparent and responsible communication towards those affected and their families is thus a core principle needed to prevent adverse reactions, including prison riots and other forms of violence.

This brief intends to provide evidence-based support and good practices for the protection of one of the most vulnerable groups of individuals affected by the Covid-19 pandemic: those deprived of liberty. It is addressed to members of the global SOS-Torture Network but may be used by any organisation whose work is related to people in custody.

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