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Indonesia: maintaining efforts to improve conditions in detention facilities

16-12-2010 News Release 10/007

Jakarta (ICRC) – Forty-five prison directors and health professionals working in places of detention in Indonesia have taken part in a workshop to share experiences and consider concrete steps that could be taken to improve conditions of detention, in particular in areas such as food security, water and sanitation, and the treatment of mental health disorders and other ailments including tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

"Issues relating to water, waste management and overcrowding, if not addressed properly and in good time, could result in a significant increase in the incidence and prevalence of disease and in mortality rates," said Pak Untung Sugiyono, who heads Indonesia's Directorate General of Corrections. "It is our responsibility to prevent this from happening. The workshop will assist our efforts to make the environment healthier in places of detention in Indonesia."

Co-organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Directorate General of Corrections of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the workshop took place in Jakarta from 13 to 16 December. Among the topics discussed was the development of standard procedures for assessing environmental health in the country's prisons.

Experts from the ICRC, the Ministry of Health, the National Narcotics Board, the National Tuberculosis Programme, the Mental Health Department of the University of Indonesia, and the World Health Organization took part in the debates.

Over the last several years, the ICRC has carried out a number of projects in cooperation with the Indonesian penitentiary authorities aimed at improving health conditions in places of detention.

The ICRC is an independent, non-political humanitarian organization operating in most countries throughout the world. It has a long tradition of providing humanitarian services for people adversely affected by armed conflict and other emergencies. It works closely with its partners within the Palang Merah Indonesia (Indonesian Red Cross Society).

For further information, please contact:
Patrick Megevand, ICRC Jakarta, tel: + 62 811 982 549
Philippe Stoll, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 40 or +41 79 536 92 49