The four-day conference was attended by 24 prison authority representatives and health-care professionals working in prisons in ten Middle Eastern and North African countries where the ICRC visits detainees.
The conference provided a forum for the participants to discuss issues that lie at the core of their work, including medical ethics and the role of doctors in places of detention, security constraints, inmates on hunger strike, and the effect of prolonged solitary confinement. ICRC specialists were on hand to share their expertise and to explain the challenges faced by officials and health-care personnel working in places of detention.
Addressing participants at the conference, Frédéric Fournier, head of the ICRC delegation in Jordan, said: « The ICRC is committed to continuing to work closely with the Jordanian authorities in support of their efforts to deliver the best possible medical care in places of detention. »
According to Dr Raed Aburabi, who coordinates the ICRC’s health activities in Jordan, « decent health care in detention facilities in any country can only be achieved through collaboration between the detaining authority and the ministry of health ». He added that the conference’s regional perspective had allowed the participants to discuss the challenges, experiences and solutions in different countries with a view to improving access to health care for people deprived of their liberty.
The ICRC visits detainees worldwide to monitor their conditions and treatment. The ICRC also works closely with the detaining authorities and medical personnel in various countries to improve health-related services in places of detention.