Detention Monitoring in Brazil

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On 10 November, the APT held a four-day workshop on Detention Monitoring in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. This workshop, the third of its kind in Brasil, forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the APT with the Brasilian Secretary for Human Rights. The 44 participants, mainly comprising prosecution offices, civil society and judges, represented 13 different states in Brasil. The workshop, aimed at strenghtening practical skills regarding detention monitoring, also constituted an opportunity to discuss the draft law on the creation of the National Preventive Mechanism in Brasil. Those attending had the opportunity to carry out a visit to four different types of places of detention: a pre-trial prison, a center for minors, a prison for women and a psychiatric hospital.


10 - 13 November 2008
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency of Brazil
To strengthen the capacity of local actors in Brazil, from both public institutions and civil society, to monitor places of detention.
In 2006, the Human Rights Secretariat of Brazil reprinted 5,000 copies of the APT Manual on Detention Monitoring and requested that the APT conduct training workshops for practitioners.  The APT then signed an Agreement of Understanding to organise sub-regional workshops every year.  The 1st took place in Brasilia (2006), the 2nd in Salvador de Bahia (2007) and the third took place in November 2008 in Belo Horizonte. Two workshops are planned for 2009.
APT co-hosted the 3rd regional detention monitoring training workshop. The majority of the 44 participants were representatives of public prosecution offices and some represented civil society organizations. Public prosecutors offices have a legal mandate to carry out monthly visits to places of detention. With participants from 13 different States in Brasil, the workshop was an ideal opportunity to exchange experiences and promote good practices. The objectives of the four day workshop were to enhance the practical skills of the participants in preparing, conducting and following-up visits to places of detention. The workshop included training visits in groups to four different places of detention: a pre-trial prison, a prison for women, a psychiatric hospital and a center for minors. The workshop was also an opportunity to present and discuss the latest draft law creating a National Prevention Mechanism in Brazil.
  • Reflection on own visiting methodology and practice by prosecutors and state institutions.
  • Enhanced capacity of Brazilian institutions and organizations to conduct more effective visits to places of detention in Brazil.
  • Increased awareness amongst NGOs and public institutions about their potential role with respect to the MNP in Brazil.
Next Steps:
The next detention monitoring training workshop will take place in April 2009. A further workshop, possibly for the National Preventive Mechanism, will take place in August.
Contact Person:
Barbara Bernath, Detention Monitoring Programme Officer