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Philippines: ICRC and National Red Cross organize family visits for security detainees

05-02-2004 News Release 04/11

The ICRC currently visits 538 people detained for security reasons in 81 prisons in the Philippines.

Under a programme set up and funded by the ICRC, in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross, the detainees may receive one visit by four relatives or two visits by two relatives each year. The aim is to help those families who live a long way from the places of detention and cannot afford to travel there. The ICRC has drawn up a list of 261 detainees whose families are given logistic and financial support. This small contribution helps pay for the train, bus or boat ride, accommodation on the spot and food during the six to eight days the family may spend away from home.

This assistance programme was launched 23 years ago. In 2003 alone, the ICRC organized 182 trips for families to see their detained relatives. A total of 1,671 trips have taken place since 1986.

The ICRC provides material assistance not just to the security detainees but to the entire prison population in the places it visits. In 2003, it supplied over 12,000 prisoners with soap and other detergents and board games.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Roland Sidler, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++ 41 22 730 20 45