30 May 2017 - The 26th session of the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) took place in Vienna from 22 - 26 May 2017. The UNODC HIV/AIDS Section organized several side events, contributing to the thematic discussion on "Comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care in prisons - a public health and human rights approach":
'Continuity of HIV services for people at all stages of detention', co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Norway, the Kyrgyz Republic and Penal Reform International;
'Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in prisons' co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Norway and Sweden;
'A critical point for health and human rights in Malawi prisons', with the Permanent Mission of Norway, highlighting the health, structural and criminal justice challenges in Malawi.
Finally, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Austria, UNODC organized a site visit to the Remand Prison Vienna-Josefstadt. The visit, attended by senior delegations from Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia, provided an opportunity to share the good practices and experiences of health programme management in prisons in Austria.
One of the highlight of the 26th CCPCJ, was the adoption of a resolution encouraging Member States to ensure access to measures for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in prisons (PMTCT).
Indeed, PMTCT of HIV is of paramount importance for women and their new-born children in prisons. Limited access to HIV prevention, to pre- and post-natal care services and to ART, combined with a high HIV prevalence in prisons result in more new-born children in prisons at risk of becoming infected with HIV. " providing comprehensive PMTCT services in prisons reduces the risk of transmission from 1 in 3 to 2 in 1,000 babies being born with HIV " said Anne Skjemelrud from Norad in the side event on PMTCT which was co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. Bente Angell-Hansen, Ambassador of Norway and Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz, UNODC Deputy Executive Director. In his opening remarks Mr. Lale-Demoz emphasized that " Health in prisons is a human right" , highlighting the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), and the rules for the treatment of women in prisons (The Bangkok Rules).
In closing, H.E. Ambassador Bente Angell-Hansen, concluded "HIV should not be the birthday gift we give to babies born in prisons."
The adopted resolution calls upon Member States to ensure that when taking steps to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as committed in the 2016 Political Declaration to Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030, they should include persons in prisons.
Leaving No One Behind!