A group of 20 prison staff from various parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina specialising in treatment and security of prisoners met in Mostar on 19 and 20 October to hone their skills in the delivery of specialised programmes of purposeful activities to prisoners under the framework of the Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey ‘’Enhancing human rights protection for detained and sentenced persons’’.
Regime offered to prisoners in BiH prisons has been a frequent topic in discussions with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment over the past few years, similar like in other neighbouring jurisdictions. In direct response to the CPT’s recommendations, policy makers seconded their staff to design and deliver specialised training programmes based on the guidance of international subject matter experts and under the auspices of the Horizontal Facility.
These programmes are tailor made to encompass the existing good local practices, complement them by CoE standards and focus on the most commonly encountered offending behaviour in BiH prisons, such as anger management, treatment of substance ab/users and socially challenged, among other.
Background information on the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey
On 11 April 2016, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, and the European Union’s Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, announced a new co-operation initiative aimed at supporting South-East Europe and Turkey in their efforts to comply with European standards. The initiative is called the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey (Horizontal Facility). It is a three-year programme (May 2016 – May 2019), focusing on three themes: ensuring justice, fighting economic crime as well as combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. It has a budget of 25 million euros, of which 20 million euros has been provided by the European Union and 5 million euros by the Council of Europe. Through the Horizontal Facility, the European Union and the Council of Europe will assist beneficiaries in South-East Europe and Turkey to comply with Council of Europe standards and the European Union acquis, through a complementary two-fold approach of technical co-operation and the provision of expertise. The Horizontal Facility relies on the Council of Europe’s unique working methods, whereby tailor-made technical co-operation activities are based on conclusions and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies, which highlight areas where improvements are needed in legislation and policies of the beneficiaries to comply with the Organisation’s standards.
More information on the Horizontal Facility is available here.