Global Prison chiefs meet to support post conflict countries

By Petride Mudoola

The meeting is aimed at tackling sexual violence in prisons.

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Prison Chiefs are meeting to discuss emerging issues and exchange lessons learned in post-conflict settings to ensure correctional support in peacekeeping.

“When a war breaks up, prisoners suffer the most because political mayhems tend to vandalise prisons which is why the United Nations meets every two years to identify the challenges these countries go through,” Susan Page the Assistant Secretary General Special Adviser for Rule of Law and Global Focal Point Review Implementation with the United Nations said.

Page made the remarks while officiating at the Seventh United Nations International Conference on Corrections in Peacekeeping which was held in Entebbe on Tuesday.

“We need to carry out some reforms and mainstreaming of peace and security at regional and global level to ensure security is improved in post conflict countries and privatization in an environment of resources constraints,” she observed.

The conference whose theme is “Strategic Approaches to Corrections Management in Post - Conflict Settings,” has brought together representatives of Government-provided corrections personnel contributing countries, United Nations Corrections experts and post-conflict countries.

The meeting is aimed at tackling sexual violence in prisons as well as integrate gender dimensions in prison administration and enhancing the quality of government-provided corrections personnel, and develop partnerships for corrections support in peace operations.

Kania Obiga the chief guest and minister of state for internal affairs noted that recognizing the early re-establishment and strengthening of Police, Justice and Correctional Systems play a critical role in the restoration and consolidation of peace in countries affected by conflict.

“Correctional Systems contribute substantially to the establishment of Law and Order to ensure safety and security of citizens. They tackle emerging global challenges, violent extremism and transnational organized crime affecting conflict and post-conflict settings,” Kania observed.

Kania said that correction systems lack political support and resources yet suffer from outdated legislations, weak infrastructure, congestion, inadequate budgets, and lack of administrative, operational and security systems.

“Corrections components of peace operations assist Prisons with strategic and operational matters thus enable counterparts establish a vigorous security framework, basic intelligence gathering which enhance the role of prisons in protecting the public,” Kania observed.

Johnson Byabashaija the Commissioner General of Prisons noted that it’s aimed at improving   provision of prison services, restore law and order thus address critical gaps vital in establishing t safe secure and humane functioning prison system, in line with the United Nations entities.

So far 32 Ugandan prison officers have benefited from UN peace keeping programs. Ends