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UNODC Participates in International Seminar on Human Rights and Visits APACs in Brazil

The team coordinator on prisons at UNODC ROPAN participated in the International Seminar on Human Rights "Looking for the recovery of people in conflict with the law", held from 16 to 18 June at the Federal University of São João del-Rei (UFSJ), State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The prison expert delivered a presentation on the applicable international instruments, in particular the Nelson Mandela Rules and the Bangkok Rules.

The mission also included visits to the APACs (Association for the Protection and Assistance of the Convicted). APAC is an alternative methodology of incarceration, characterized by the trust placed in the people deprived of their liberty (there is no prison security personnel and the detainees themselves hold the keys of the establishment and cells), rigorous discipline, mandatory study and work, and a predominant role of the religion. This method has expanded to several countries in the region and world due to its efficiency in reducing recidivism and low cost compared to the traditional prison model, according to the authorities.

The mission finally included a visit to the prison in São João del-Rei, which has more than 450 people deprived of their liberty.