Arab rights bodies hold seminar on Covid-19 challenges
June 13 2020 10:13 PM
Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions (ANNHRI)
Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions (ANNHRI)


The Doha-based Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions (ANNHRI) in partnership with the Association for the Prevention of Torture APT - based in Geneva - organised an online seminar on "Control of places of deprivation of the principle of non-harm in theory to implementation", with the participation of 33 representatives of the national human rights institutions, members of the network.
The seminar aimed at identifying the main challenges and good practices related to preventing and countering the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in places of deprivation of liberty, and to provide practical guidance to detention monitors on effective precautionary measures and health considerations that NHRIs and national preventive mechanisms should take during visiting places of detention, as well as exploring how precautionary measures and health considerations for monitors affect the purpose and methodology of monitoring.
Participants discussed a number of topics, such as oversight of places of detention amid the Covid-19 virus, evaluations, accountability and promising practices, as well as questions and guidelines on the special challenges facing the implementation of the oversight task in the context of the national institutions carrying out their tasks in the process of promoting human rights in correctional and penal institutions, and in places of deprivation of other freedom in light of the spread of the pandemic, in addition to exchanging best practices through alternative methods of conducting remote monitoring activities without the need to visit places of detention.
Issam Younis, head of the Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions, Commissioner-General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Palestine, said that the exceptional circumstances the world is witnessing, due to the spread of the corona pandemic, dictate that the national human rights institutions are to work hard to ensure and protect these rights.
Sultan bin Hassan al-Jamali, Executive Director of the Arab Network, Assistant Secretary General of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), stressed in a press statement following the seminar, the importance of exchanging experiences between national human rights institutions in the event of health crises because of their prominent role in the process of protecting and promoting the right to health and follow-up of precautionary measures and the resulting exceptions in restricting some freedoms, within the framework of curbing the spread of pandemic. 

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