In response to the emergency of COVID-19 crisis and to the need of providing urgent support to inmates and prison staff, as of beginning of April and continuing until June 2020, the Council of Europe has donated and continues donating protective materials to five member States - Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia. The process is pending in Azerbaijan.
A total of 13 760 masks, 2500 facial shields, 1240 litters of disinfectant/sanitizer for hands and surfaces, 84 000 gloves, 99 infrared thermometers, 2 oxygen generators, 5 portable saturometers, 10 bactericide lamps, 50 medical uniforms, 100 protective glasses, 20 puls oximeters, 3000 head covers, 5000 shoe covers were delivered to prison administrations in the mentioned countries, as well as to central prison hospital in Armenia. 850 pieces of disinfectants and 5000 gloves are under way of delivery in North Macedonia and additional items are expected to be purchased in Montenegro and Azerbaijan until end of June 2020.
These donations aim at supporting the commitment of the Council of Europe member States and their national prison administrations to adhere to the CPT statement of principles for the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, in accordance with the World Health Organization guidelines in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donations were delivered following requests from the Ministries of Justice and prison administrations within the framework of the cooperation activities implemented by the Criminal Law Cooperation Unit, Action against Crime Department, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law.
The presented donations were made possible thanks to the following projects:
- Armenia - Enhancing Health Care and Human Rights Protection in Prisons (financed through CoE Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022)
- Georgia - Enhancement of Human Rights and Health-Care Support to Penitentiary System (financed through CoE Action Plan for Georgia 2016-2019)
- Republic of Moldova - Promoting a Human Rights Compliant Criminal Justice System (financed by the Government of Norway)
Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey II (funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, implemented by the Council of Europe):
- Enhancing Human Rights Protection for Detained and Sentenced Persons in Montenegro
- Enhancing the Capacities of the Penitentiary System and the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia
- Relevant website: Criminal law cooperation