Monitoring places of detention in Brazil

Monday, October 15, 2007

The APT recently travelled to north-eastern Brazil to train participants from civil society and state institutions on the methodology of monitoring and visiting places of detention. Visits to a prison, a centre for minors and a psychiatric hospital were included as part of the training. This regional workshop was the second of a series, taking place from 2006 to 2009.


Date:2-5 October 2007
Place:Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
Partners:Brazil Human Rights Secretariat
Purpose:To train participants in the methodology of monitoring and visiting places of detention, based on APT's Monitoring Guide.

This was the second regional training on monitoring places of detention, involving 36 participants from 9 States of the north-east region. The participants were mainly from the civil society and in particular the pastoral carcelaria, and most had previous visiting experience. The four day workshop included training visits to three different places of detention (a prison, a centre for minors and a psychiatric hospital).

This training project was first launched in Brasilia in 2006 on the initiative of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Brasilian government, which printed 5,000 copies of the APT Monitoring Guide in Portuguese - linked to training workshops in different regions of Brazil.

Outcome:An envisaged change of emphasis regarding visits to places of detention, from a more denunciatory perspective to a more preventive approach. The APT Monitoring Guide is to serve as a reference tool for a more coherent and permanent visiting methodology.
Further action:A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 5 October 2007 between the Human Rights Secretariat and the APT which foresees further regional trainings in 2008 and 2009.
Press:Curso ensina a prevenir tortura nas prisões: Oficina dada pelo governo e por uma entidade internacional a ONGs aborda legislação e técnicas para fazer visitas surpresas nos presídios.
PNUD Brasil
Relevant Publications:The APT Monitoring Guide is available in Arabic, Armenian, Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai
Contact Person:Barbara Bernath, Visits Programme Officer