Statement on the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

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The 26th June marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On that day, exactly 35 years ago, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment entered into force.

Among the social groups most at risk of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are certainly persons deprived of their liberty including, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

In order to protect the elderly and disabled persons in places of detention, a meeting was held within the South-East Europe NPM Network, organized by the Austrian NPM, which is chairing the Network this year (https://see-npm.net/about-us/)

At the end of the meeting, the adopted conclusions and recommendations aim at strengthening the protection of these vulnerable groups and thus supporting all victims of torture:

Conclusions/recommendations (as adopted at the SEE meeting on 21st June in Vienna)

–              Older prisoners should be placed with the general prison population and their accommodation requirements must be adequate to their needs to respect their dignity.

–              Prisoners with needs of special care due to their age or physical disability, should be cared for in adequate facilities.

–              An appropriate number of trained carers must be available in all correctional facilities.

–              If care is given by other inmates, they should be supported and trained accordingly. Issues of possible liability due to poor care should be regulated and clarified.

–              All staff that is involved in the supervision and care of older prisoners or inmates with physical disabilities should receive specific training regularly.

–              In preparation for the release of this vulnerable group state authorities should ensure adequate assistance according to the individual needs.

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