ICRC Backs Agencies Improve Detention Facilities

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is supporting Correctional Services and other government agencies to improve the conditions and treatment of people in detention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

People in detention are highly vulnerable to outbreaks of diseases such as COVID-19, because of overcrowding and poor hygiene and sanitation. Recognising this risk, the Australian Government has partnered with ICRC to improve the conditions and treatment of people in detention in prisons and police lockups across PNG during this pandemic.

The K10 million partnership includes support to the Correctional Services to establish a Technical Working Group and draft a COVID-19 Response Plan.

It sets out prevention, outbreak management and mitigation measures for correctional facilities in partnership with the Department of Health and the National Control Centre, with input from World Health Organisation experts.

The plan also includes COVID-19 vaccination awareness events and a bi-monthly donation of PPE and cleaning and hygiene materials to selected detention centres.

 ICRC has also partnered with a leading PNG vaccine researcher with a long career at the PNG Institute of Medical Research to increase vaccination awareness in correctional facilities, contributing to a more than 40 percent uptake of vaccinations by prisoners in Bomana in Port Moresby, Buimo in Lae, Baisu in Mt. Hagen and Beikut in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

These activities expand on the ICRC’s core program to ensure coordination between all law and justice agencies who deal with detainees in the criminal system, specifically to decongest overcrowded facilities.

Press Release