Penal Reform International co-host a training workshop on human rights –based approach to prison management in Morocco
Penal Reform International organizing a training workshop on human rights –based approach to prison management in Morocco
Penal Reform International, the Middle East and North Africa Office, has organized in the town of Ifrane in Morocco, and in collaboration with the Prisons General Directorate and Mohammed VI Foundation for the Reintegration of Prisoners, a 3-day training workshop on “human rights-based approach to prison management”.
It was organized during the period 4-6 September 2012, and focused primarily on the rights of vulnerable groups in prisons. It was attended by 25 participants mostly directors of prisons that have sections of women and /or children.
This training workshop came as part of a project titled “Promoting Human Rights based Approach towards Vulnerable Groups in Detention in the Middle East and North Africa Region”, which is being implemented by Penal Reform International (PRI) and funded by the Swedish Agency for International Development (SIDA).
This is a first in a series of training workshops that will cover six countries in the region including Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Algeria and Yemen.
Senior officials from the Prisons General Directorate attended and addressed the opening session of the training. Judge Mustafa Helmi, the Director of the Social and Cultural Section of the general Directorate, has emphasized at his speech the commitment of the General Directorate to respect and promote international standards in dealing with prisoners and specially the vulnerable groups.
In his address at the opening session, Mr. Mahjoub Alheba, the Ministerial Delegate in-charge of Human Rights, strongly stressed the importance of promoting and reforming the national legislations and practice to comply with international standards. He also express the need to strengthen the Moroccan position at the international level. He also congratulated the General Directorate for its partnership with Penal Reform International, which, as he stated, are considered to be one of the most reputable institutions in the field of criminal and penal reform in the Arab world, and internationally.
Mr. Haitham Shibli from Penal Reform International valued, in his speech, the partnership with the Prisons General Directorate, and the special emphasis paid to strengthening the capacities of the prisons’ personnel in Morocco.
The Coordinator of Mohammed VI Foundation for the Reintegration of prisoners, Mr. Izzeldin Belmahi has suggested and requested the help of Penal Reform International in organising workshops for prisons’ inmates to familiarize them with their rights and duties within the reintegration projects.
The Head of the Prisons General Directorate Mr.Hafeez Bin-Hashim has visited the training workshop during the first day. During his intervention he called on prisons staff and participants in this training workshop to take the contents of the training seriously as it would help in developing discipline inside prisons, and protect human rights in general.
Towards the end of the first day the Prisons General Directorate requested to increase the number of prisons’ personnel participating in the training workshop due to the quality of the training, and the importance of topics discussed. Accordingly the number of workshop participants has increased from 25 to 55 participants.
During the three days the workshop has covered various relevant topics including; the international standards relevant to vulnerable groups in prisons, the Moroccan legislations and practice in dealing with vulnerable groups, definition and classification of vulnerable groups, the monitoring and inspection mechanisms, reintegration and aftercare programmes for vulnerable groups. The workshop has also reflected on some of the regional experiences in this respect. Two regional and two national experts have cooperated in facilitating the deliberations of this training workshop.
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