The APT at the UN Crime Prevention Congress in Brazil
The APT participated in the 12th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice which took place in Salvador, Brazil, from 12 to 19 April 2010.
The Congress addressed a broad range of issues ranging from juvenile justice to cybercrime. Among the issues of interest to the APT were the two workshops on 'Best practices in the treatment of prisoners' and 'Overcrowding in prisons'. Mario Coriolano, member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention, participated in these 2 workshops and promoted National Preventive Mechanisms as important means to improve conditions and treatment in places of detention.
The APT, together with Penal Reform International and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations also organised a well attended parallel event on 'Visiting mechanisms and transparency in prisons: OPCAT and worldwide development', in which Manfed Nowak, Special Rapporteur on Torture, gave an opening speech.
The Salvador Declaration underlines the need of using UN standards for the treatment of prisoners as guidance for national legislation, welcomes the new draft UN rules for the treatment of women prisoners and invites the Commission to create a working group to revise the existing standards. It also stresses the need to reinforce alternatives to imprisonment and recommends reducing pre trial detention.
Finally, the APT took advantage of this Congress to circulate a petition among participants calling for the host country, Brasil, to designate a National Mechanism to prevent torture in full compliance with OPCAT.