Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Regional workshop on the promotion of cooperation among the countries in West and Central Asia to better address the international transfer of sentenced persons 

7-8 September 2017, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic  

A "Regional workshop on Promotion of cooperation among the countries in West and Central Asia to better address the International Transfer of Sentenced Persons" was organized under Sub-Programme - 2 of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries (RP).

The objectives of the event included: discussing and identifying elements for a common regional practice for the transfer of foreign sentenced prisoners, increasing the common understanding among participants on the purposes and scope of application of international transfer of sentenced prisoners (ITSP) and the various options available, with a view of identifying a regionally adapted practice among relevant officials from Afghanistan I.R., Iran I.R., Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and establishing an inter-regional working group as a tool to further strengthen regional cooperation and information exchange.

In total, twenty seven (27) participants from different organizations and governmental agencies of Afghanistan I.R., Iran I.R., Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in the 2 day event, exchanging best practices at the regional and bilateral levels.

During the event, the participants were provided with the relevant information and available international legal instruments enabling the transfer of sentenced persons, as well as practical perspectives on how sentenced prisoners are transferred within different frameworks, including the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

The interactive nature of this event triggered lively and intense discussions on the challenges that the participating countries are facing both at the regional and international level, including those posed by the variety of legal systems at the regional level as well as the lack of necessary legal instruments. Therefore, all participants agreed on the importance and need for regional coordination and assistance mechanisms in addition to those already in place at bilateral level.

 

In particular, the establishment of an inter-regional expert working group at the end of the workshop, displays the commitment of the RP countries to strengthen cooperation in this area.

Sub-Programme 2 of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, in cooperation with the Conference Support Section of the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch (UNODC/Vienna Headquarters) and experts from Estonia, Finland and France, through this workshop, provided impetus for increased attention to this important area for regional cooperation, and given the positive impact, more workshops will be organized on this subject matter within the framework of the inter-regional working group.

UNODC thanks the government of Japan for funding the event.