Balay and BJMP sign agreement to promote human rights and freedom from torture of persons deprived of liberty
Balay Rehabilitation Center and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have formalized their commitment to promote human rights and freedom from torture of persons deprived of liberty for the next three years. This was contained in a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the heads of both organizations in the BJMP National Headquarters on June 4, 2018.
The agreement was based on the shared mission of BALAY and BJMP to respect, fulfil and uphold the rights and well-being of inmates and their desire to effectively implement Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law of 2009 and promote a system for preventive jail visit in line with the Optional Protocol on the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
The main signatories to the document are Balay Executive Director Josephine A. Lascano and BJMP Chief Jail Director Deogracias C. Tapayan.
Among the salient provisions of the agreement are the holding of the following activities:
- Documentation and reporting of cases of torture and ill-treatment of persons turned over to BJMP and those already confined in its facilities
- Provision of health, psychosocial and legal services, including counselling sessions, and human rights education to a number of detainees under the custody of the BJMP
- Capacity building activities for jail personnel on torture documentation, reporting and raising their skills on psychosocial support for persons deprived of liberty
- Mainstreaming of BJMP’s torture documentation and reporting policy among jail personnel and contribute in the production or enhancement of manuals on Rights-based Guidelines and Policies on handling detainees in accordance with generally acceptable standards
- Case study conference on the efficacy of the BJMP’s Torture Documentation, Reporting and Provision of Rehabilitation Services, and
- Jail monitoring visits and discussion on any issues and concerns arising from the conduct of activities and other matters relating to the welfare of detainees
The activities will be conducted by Balay in coordination with the Directorate for Inmates Welfare and Development (DIWD), headed by Jail Senior Superintendent Edwin B. Riel.