Independent access to and monitoring of places of detention are critical factors in ensuring minimum standards are upheld, and preventing torture and rights abuses.  News stories and reports from across MENA this month regarding poor conditions and allegations of abuse in immigration detention facilities are a stark reminder of this.  

Just this week, Human Rights Watch released preliminary findings on the appalling conditions and treatment of individuals detained in Libya, and in Lebanon the underground detention centre in Beirut has generated renewed protest.

IDC members and civil society actors, as well as mandated bodies such as National Preventative Mechanisms, Human Rights Institutes and UN agencies play a critical role in monitoring places of detention – not only in MENA, but globally.

This month a new practical manual for monitoring places of immigration detention was launched, produced jointly by UNHCR, the Association for Prevention of Torture (APT) and the IDC. The manual will be useful for monitors and governments alike, in understanding why monitoring is important, and how it should be carried out.

We hope that training will be made available to interested stakeholders in the MENA region over the course of the coming year, and would be interested to hear from those in the region about your experiences of monitoring detention, or training needs [email protected]