Statement to the Special Rapporteur on Prisons Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa

The issues of arbitrary arrest, the impact on the poor of criminalisation and enforcement of minor offences, and of overcrowding levels in many African systems are pre-existing public health and human rights crisis concern. While the measures taken in the context of Covid-19 by Member States to radically reduce the number of persons held in detention are welcome, these must not remain exceptional measures in the context of a pandemic. In the short-term, they must be urgently accelerated and expanded. In the long-term, they should be built on, harnessed, and expanded so that criminalisation of life sustaining activities in public spaces, and prison conditions do not continue to violate human rights. The Commission, through the Special Rapporteur, is urged to remind Member States of their obligations with regards to safe and rights-compliant detention environments, and promote permanent alternatives to detention, particularly for minor offences, urgently now, and in the post-Covid-19 era.

Year: 2020
Resource Type:
Petty Offences
Public Health
People Groups:
People in Detention
Duty Bearers
Policy Reform
Campaign Partner:
Africa Policing Civilian Oversight Forum