The European Union regional programmes, EL PAcCTO EUROsociAL+ and COPOLAD II, analyse alternative measures to prison in times of COVID19
The European Union (EU) programmes, managed by FIIAPP, ELPAcCTO, EUROsociAL+ and COPOLAD II, join forces again in a webinar to share experiences between Latin America, the Caribbean and the EU on the use of alternative measures to the deprivation of liberty during the pandemic. The objective is also to analyse future challenges, and how these alternative measures are essential in order to strengthen the fight against organised crime, cohesion and social integration, and respect for human rights.
This webinar is a follow-up to the Montevideo Declaration approved by 150 representatives from more than 30 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and the EU. The declaration took place in September 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay, during the “Bi-regional Conference on Alternative Measures to the Deprivation of Liberty”, which was organised by the three projects.
The Declaration advocates the development of a more systematic use of alternative measures to the deprivation of liberty for the most minor crimes and people who do not represent a danger to the community, with special emphasis on vulnerable populations (such as women or people involved in the problematic use or trafficking of illegal substances) imprisoned for minor offences.
The virtual seminar will be opened by the unit head with the European Commission General Directorate for International Cooperation and Development, Jorge de la Caballería, together with representatives from the three regional organising programmes.
The webinar will be divided into three blocks consisting, on the one hand, of an overview of the current situation in the American hemisphere, on the other, a panel on alternative measures to the deprivation of liberty during the COVID19 emergency and, to finish, a panel on the paradigm shift in prisons in post-COVID times.
The event will be closed by Anna Terrón, director of FIIAPP, Hervé Conan, deputy director of Expertise France, Antonella Cavallari, Secretary General of IILA and the unit head with the European Commission General Directorate for International Cooperation and Development, Jorge de la Caballería.
The situation in prisons in Latin America during the health emergency
The spread of COVID19 has only added to the worrying situation of overcrowding and to the poor conditions in some prison facilities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The impossibility of implementing social distancing and the precariousness of the health systems inside these prisons increases the possibility that contagion may spread among the imprisoned population.
In addition, the tension generated by this situation has been reflected in protests that have occurred in recent weeks in some prisons in various countries in Europe and Latin America such as Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, France and Italy.
EL PAcCTO, EUROsociAL+ and COPOLAD II advocate addressing the issue of alternative measures to the deprivation of liberty, which could prevent overcrowding and, therefore, avoid situations which are prone to conflict, promote the effective fight against organised crime and serve as a guarantee of human rights during and after the pandemic.