Next week the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will convene in Vienna (12-16 May). Held annually it is the principal policy-making body of the UN in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice and is therefore of key relevance to PRI’s mission. The Commission is the preparatory body for and implements many of the recommendations of the Crime Congress – a meeting held every 5 years – which plays a major role in international standard-setting and policy-making in this area.
At the first Crime Congress held in Geneva in 1955, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners were adopted. Sixty years later the Rules still constitute the key standard for the treatment of prisoners globally but major developments in human rights and criminal justice since their adoption mean that some areas are outdated.
Since 2010 when the process was initiated by the UN General Assembly there have been three Expert Group Meetings, with increasing cross-regional support for the review and significant progress made on the ‘targeted revision’ of areas and Rules identified. A draft resolution tabled for the Commission recommends that the mandate of the Expert Group is extended, among other things. The revision process of the SMR will be one of the key priorities for PRI’s delegation at the Commission.
Read our statement submitted jointly with other NGOs which outlines key elements and possible improvements of the text of the draft resolution.
PRI will also be co-sponsoring three side events and hosting a reception to mark our 25th anniversary.
Tuesday 13 May 2014, 6-7pm, ground floor foyer of M Building, VIC, UN Buildings
A short programme will include a welcome by PRI’s Executive Director, the first public screening of a new short animated film on the impact of imprisonment and non-custodial alternatives and brief interventions by representatives of Namibia and Sweden reflecting on experiences in reducing imprisonment rates, including by a representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. – Refreshments will be provided.
Monday 12 May 2014, 1pm, Room MOE 79
Wednesday 14 May 2014, 1pm, Room M3
Lunch will be provided.
Human rights and HIV in prisons
Tuesday 13 May, 9am, Room M3
We will be on twitter throughout the week. Follow us @PenalReformInt, #CCPCJ2014
From the Crime Commission to the Crime Congress in April 2015, PRI will be addressing some of the most interesting trends and pressing criminal justice issues in a series of expert guest blogs. The series has been inspired by PRI’s discussion paper – The Use and Practice of Imprisonment: Current Trends and Future Challenges – which will be launched as a new annual publication at the Congress in Doha. Read more about the blog series and the annual publication.