Philippines urged to tackle "chronic" prison overcrowding

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The United Nations torture prevention body is urging the Philippines to deal urgently with prison overcrowding. UN Photo (file)

The Government of the Philippines has been urged by the UN torture prevention body to deal urgently with prison overcrowding.

The Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) has also called on the country to improve the monitoring of places of detention to protect people against torture and cruel treatment.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The call came at the end of the first visit to the Philippines by the Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT), when the six member delegation presented its confidential preliminary observations to the Filipino authorities.

In a statement, the head of the delegation said the report will hopefully be used to improve the conditions of people deprived of their liberty, in particular by dealing with the chronic problem of overcrowding in prisons and other detention facilities.

They also highlighted the importance of the Philippines enacting a law to establish an effective national independent monitoring body, to prevent torture and ill-treatment.

Among the places the experts visited during their 10 days in the Philippines were police stations, prisons, a juvenile rehabilitation centre, a correctional institute for women and a psychiatric hospital.

Members of the delegation carried out private and confidential interviews with law enforcement officials, medical staff and persons deprived of their liberty.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’01″

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