Geneva/Dhaka - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Bangladesh's prison directorate are hosting the fourth Asia-Pacific Correctional Managers Seminar in Dhaka from 16 to 18 May 2017. The seminar, "Balancing security and humanitarian needs within prisons", brings together more than 30 senior correctional managers from across the region.
Participants will use case studies as a basis for sharing experiences and illustrating the importance of striking a balance between security and humane conditions for staff and detainees when planning, designing, building and operating prison facilities. The seminar will also focus on how to classify detainees and the importance of inspections. This is the first time Bangladesh's prison directorate and authorities have organized a regional event with the ICRC on detention.
"Over the past several years, we have developed a strong working relationship with the ICRC and taken part in various discussions with our counterparts in the region," said Brigadier-General Syed Iftekhar Uddin, Bangladesh's inspector-general of prisons. "We hope that participants will learn from the experiences and observations of neighbouring countries and be inspired to improve their own detention facilities."
The participating countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vanuatu. The ICRC is sending representatives from its offices in the region and its headquarters in Geneva. Each country will give an overview of its correctional services and an update on the improvements made and challenges faced since the previous year's seminar, held in Colombo.
"The ICRC encourages Asia-Pacific countries to benefit from each other's experience in building and managing detention facilities," said Ikhtiyar Aslanov, the head of the ICRC's delegation in Bangladesh. "This seminar will strengthen our relationship with the authorities in the region, and facilitate our work on behalf of prisoners."
The ICRC has been visiting detainees to monitor their living conditions for more than 140 years. Today, the ICRC visits prisons in more than 90 countries around the world. Its recommendations - provided to the prison authorities in confidence - are aimed at ensuring that all detainees, regardless of the reasons for their arrest and detention, are afforded decent living conditions and receive humane and fair treatment.