Project title: Improvement of detention conditions in Baghlan province of Afghanistan
Duration: May – October, 2010;
Total budget: 546,000 + 245,000 EUR
Donor: European Commission/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hungary
Law enforcement organs in Afghanistan are characterised by deficiencies, insufficient funding and lack of trained employees.
In Baghlan province – similarly to other provinces - the conditions in the cells are below all humanitarian standards: detainees subsist without heating, lighting and possibility to regularly clean themselves. No separate detention centre is available for those who are waiting for their trial; they are together with sentenced prisoners. Female and male detainees are currently placed in the same prison building, while in separate cells with separate guards. The old prison of the province, where there were 219 male and 21 female prisoners, was in dilapidated conditions; construction of a new prison building is foreseen in the Provincial Development Plan. The province has already acquired funding for the prison, but not for the separate detention centre. According to the Afghan legislation, mothers are not separated from their young children during detention.
Overall aim: Promoting the effective operation of sub-national law enforcement system in Baghlan Province
Specific objectives: Improved conditions of detainees, especially female detainees with young children, in Baghlan Province.
- by a new Provincial Detention Center building
- by infrastructural and training facilities in the Provincial Detention Center, and educational facilities for children interned with their detainee mothers.
Main activities of the two-phase project included the following:
- Construction of a new provincial detention centre (separate male and female detention buildings with sanitary blocks + training/community rooms)
- Establishing infrastructural and recreation facilities (water reservoir, septic pit, deep well, sport area)
- Organizing maintenance training for the staff of the detention centre in order to ensure proper operation of the centre following the handover.
- Installation of Infrastructural facilities and equipment in the centre (alarm system, solar heating blocks, carpets, furniture)
- Organizing literacy and vocational training courses for detainees
As a result of HIA’s project living conditions of detainees improved to a level acceptable to humanitarian principles thus human rights of detainees are better observed. The intern trainings contribute to increased chances of detainees for social reintegration.
By the help of the project the infrastructural background is ensured for the effective operation of the Provincial Detention Centre; independent water/sanitation utilities and basic electric supply ensure the operation of the centre even in case of temporary power cuts from external suppliers.
The new detention centre also provides a model for other provinces of similar population, from the aspects of
- operational security
- increased respect of human rights
- increased chances for social reintegration.