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Philippines: regional seminar looks at prison overcrowding

21-11-2012 News Release 12/223

Geneva/Manila (ICRC) – Prison managers from nine countries discussed overcrowding in prisons during the Asia-Pacific Seminar on Correctional Management in Manila on 20 and 21 November.

The seminar focused on what overcrowding really means, how to mitigate its effects and how to involve the whole criminal justice system in finding solutions. Participants also looked at the role of prison administrators.

“Overcrowding in prisons is a serious concern, as it affects the well-being of inmates,” said Alain Aeschlimann, who heads the ICRC’s operations in East Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. “We have been working with prison authorities in the Asia-Pacific region to address the causes and consequences. By providing a forum to share best practices, we aim to help prison authorities find new solutions to some of the problems they face.”

Prison managers from Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Thailand attended the ICRC-facilitated seminar, the first in the region.

The ICRC has a long history in Asia and the Pacific of providing humanitarian service and expertise. Its work focuses on emergency response and assistance, international humanitarian law, restoring contact between separated family members, water and habitat, health, and physical rehabilitation. The ICRC is also a reference organization for detention-related issues and is helping national authorities address humanitarian problems in prisons.

For further information, please contact:
Allison Lopez, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 908 868 68 84
Philippe Stoll, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 40 or + 41 79 536 92 49