Editorial: Out of sight, out of mind? Exposing the human cost of detention

08 February 2018 Vincent Bernard

The conditions in which detainees are being held and the way they are treated are worsening in several countries, while the rest of the world turns a blind eye. Life for these detainees is a nightmare. Limited resources, punitive criminal justice policies and malfunctioning judicial systems lead to a host of problems: overcrowded cells or, conversely, solitary confinement in high-security prisons; violence and drugs; torture, ill-treatment and the absence of legal safeguards; a lack of hygiene, food, care and, at the end of the day, dignity.

About the author

Vincent Bernard

Vincent Bernard

Vincent BERNARD is editor in chief of the International Review of the Red Cross, a leading academic journal on humanitarian law, policy and action published by the ICRC and Cambridge University Press. He is also the head of the Law and Policy Forum, which leads ICRC’s engagement with expert audiences interested in teaching, researching and debating international humanitarian law (IHL). The unit runs the Humanitarium conference center in Geneva, the new Humanitarian Law and Policy blog, the IHL online training center etc. Vincent joined the ICRC in 1998 and worked in the field for 6 years in Dakar, Nairobi and Jerusalem. As head of the ICRC’s field communication set-up from 2006 to 2010 he travelled and worked in most of ICRC’s operational contexts. Prior to joining the organization, Vincent studied political science, law and international relations at the Political Science Institute and Law Faculty in Strasburg, The King’s College, London and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and taught law at the University of Marmara in Istanbul.