How can prison professionals develop their practices in line with international conventions and rules (soft law) to ensure the humane and fair treatment of prisoners? EuroPris is dedicated to promoting the values of human rights and dignity within prison systems across Europe. In line with our commitment to fostering a culture of respect and fairness, we will address critical issues related to human rights in prisons. This webinar aims to provide a platform for knowledge-sharing and discussion among prison professionals, policymakers, and human rights experts.
The primary objectives of this webinar are:
The focus of this webinar will be primarily on LGBTIQ prisoners, solitary confinement, and human dignity. This webinar seeks to advance the cause of human rights in prison settings. By addressing these pressing issues, we can contribute to more humane and effective correctional systems that respect the inherent dignity of every individual.
The webinar will take place on 19 October 2023, 14:00 -16:00 CET
Participation is limited to 100 participants
In this interactive online event, we are limiting participation to just 100 participants to ensure a personalised and engaging experience in the break-out sessions. The webinar and the individual break-out sessions will be recorded and posted on this event page after the event.
If you like to participate please register by following this link
The webinar will consist of a plenary session followed by three breakout sessions and a concluding part in the plenary. Participants are invited to choose one breakout session. After that, all participants can return to the plenary for a closing discussion.
Presentation 1: A Soft Law overview to support practitioners in Swiss Corrections
Speaker: Laura von Mandach (Swiss Centre of Expertise in Prison and Probation)
Presentation 2: The new guidance document on the European Prison Rules developed by Penal Reform International and the Council of Europe.
This presentation will include an introduction to relevant conventions and where EPR fits into this context. Audits, inspections and the role of CPT will be described briefly, as will the ECtHR and the role of national preventive mechanisms (NPM).
Speakers: Triona Lenihan (Penal Reform International) and Joana Kashi (Council of Europe)
Session 1: LGBTIQ+ detainees: Ensuring safety and dignity for all
Speaker: Jean-Sébastien Blanc is a research associate at the University of Geneva. Until July 2023, he worked at the Swiss Center of Expertise in Prison and Probation (SCEPP), where he is still a lecturer. While working at the SCEPP, he coordinated a project devising a set of recommendations on the handling and care of LGBTIQ+ detainees. Among previous functions, he worked at the Association for the prevention of torture, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross. In 2023, he was appointed as a member of the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture, the Swiss National Preventive Mechanism (NPM).
Session 2: Solitary Confinement
Speaker: Dirk van Zyl Smit is Emeritus Professor of the University of Nottingham, and of the University of Cape Town His books include Life Imprisonment: a Global Human Rights Analysis (with Catherine Appleton) (Harvard 2019) and Principles of European Prison Law and Policy: Penology and Human Rights (with Sonja Snacken) (Oxford 2009). Dirk is actively involved in law reform. He has drafted prison legislation for the governments of South Africa, Malawi, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bangladesh. He was expert adviser to the Council of Europe on the new European Prison Rules and the European Rules on Juvenile Offenders subject to Sanctions or Measures, and is currently advising on a new Recommendation on Prisons and Mental Health.
Session 3: Strengthening Human Dignity in Prisons – Sonja Snacken
Speaker: Sonja Snacken is Emeritus Professor of Criminology, Penology and Sociology of Law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She has been involved in over forty research projects, at European, national and local level, with a special emphasis on the integration of an empirical social scientist approach with human rights concerns. She has been an expert for the CPT (1994-2008), member and Chair of the Council for Penological Cooperation (2001-2012) and expert for the Criminal Law Cooperation unit (2018-2021) of the Council of Europe. Her publications include “Principles of European Prison Law and Policy: Penology and Human Rights” (with Dirk van Zyl Smit; Oxford 2009); “Human dignity and prisoners’ rights – A European Perspective”, Crime and Justice, 2021, 301-351.