UNODC, NCDC, NACA partner NCoS for COVID-19 Infection Prevention, Control and Risk Communication

Abuja, 2 October, 2020 - People in prisons and other closed settings whose personal liberty is deprived are more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak than the general population because of their confinement and overcrowding which is often common in such settings.

Although there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 outbreak in the custodial centres in Nigeria, confirmed cases among prisoners and/or prison officers have been reported in many countries around the world. It is imperative to strengthen existing evidence-based COVID-19 prevention and control measures in custodial centres, in keeping with United Nations Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners.

People in custodial centres as well as officers who are charged with ensuring their safe, secure and humane custody at the various correctional facilities in Nigeria must not be forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic. To reduce the problem of overcrowding in Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted amnesty to several inmates across the nation.

UNODC collaborated with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) in training correctional facilities staff on COVID-19 prevention, detection, reporting and response as well as skills for communicating priority information and desired behavior change to people in custodial centres, staff, and visitors from 9th – 11th September 2020.

UNODC provides technical assistance to countries, strengthening rights-based approach to treatment of people in prisons and closed settings around the world in accordance with their international obligations.