Geneva, Switzerland – This week, REFORM Alliance is traveling to Geneva, the home of the UN Human Rights Council, to advocate for the advancement of a human rights approach to the social reintegration of persons released from detention and persons under supervision.
While existing international human rights treaties and non-binding soft-law standards address incarcerated persons, conditions of confinement, and non-custodial measures generally, there is lack of guidance under international human rights law on specific practices and standards for the social reintegration of individuals who are leaving incarceration and those under supervision who are actively rejoining communities.
While the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has undertaken complementary efforts on social reintegration as a crime prevention strategy, it is equally important to address social reintegration as a human rights issue.
REFORM Alliance and partners will be in Geneva to urge the UN Human Rights Council to address this issue, provide guidance to States on effective practices, and ultimately develop standards for implementation.
REFORM is thrilled to support the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva with this unprecedented initiative. Costa Rica is spearheading a cross-regional Joint Statement on this critical issue, which will be presented at the 54th session of the Human Rights Council on Wednesday, September 20th.
The Joint Statement already has the support of 38 countries, with many more expected before its presentation to the Council. Additionally, the Joint Statement has secured strong support among NGOs from every region of the world. In a letter sent to UN Country Missions in Geneva, 91 NGOs from 46 different countries urged Governments to support Costa Rica’s Joint Statement, calling for further international discussion on social reintegration as a matter of human rights.
The Permanent Mission of Costa Rica is also hosting a side event at the Council session on Wednesday, September 20th at 1:00 pm Geneva time / 7:00 am EST in Room XXV in the Palais des Nations. The event can be livestreamed here.
Jessica Jackson, REFORM Alliance’s Chief Advocacy Officer and Chief of Operations, will be a key participant on a panel at this event, which will also include States, international and regional experts, and other civil society members. Panelists will share effective practices, as well as challenges and obstacles, from around the world on the social reintegration of individuals following release from detention, as well as during and after supervision. View the livestream 1-2pm Geneva / 7-8am EST.
Lastly, on Thursday, September 21st, in partnership with a Geneva-based NGO INHR, Jessica Jackson will have the honor to address the 47 Member States of the UN Human Rights Council on this topic. Jessica will express strong support of Costa Rica’s Joint Statement, the barriers faced by individuals reintegrating into society, and the role of the Council in providing further guidance to States.
Jessica Jackson, Chief Advocacy & Operations Officer at REFORM Alliance observed: “We are thrilled to support the Mission of Costa Rica in this landmark initiative, and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to address the UN Human Rights Council on this critical issue. We’ve seen firsthand the impact of effective social reintegration programs in restoring human rights and dignity and fostering lasting change. It’s a privilege to share our experiences and advocate for human rights alongside the global community.”
“I am proud to see REFORM Alliance’s efforts to transform probation and parole now having an impact on the world stage,” said Robert Rooks, CEO of REFORM Alliance. “This week’s meeting of the UN Human Rights Council represents an important step for the millions of people incarcerated around the world and the global community as a whole. In an increasingly connected world, it’s important to recognize that the prospects of returning citizens anywhere affect the prospects of returning citizens everywhere. Supporting safe reintegration will strengthen families, increase community stability, and improve public safety for all.”
REFORM has also been working with international human rights lawyer Jared Genser and his law firm Perseus Strategies on this initiative.
Stay tuned for updates on our social media as REFORM Alliance voices our commitment to human rights and social reintegration in Geneva, standing in solidarity with global partners to make a difference in the international human rights system.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Legislative Affairs, REFORM Alliance
+1 202 320 4135
Costa Rica is spearheading a cross-regional Joint Statement on this critical issue, which will be presented at the 54th session of the Human Rights Council on Wednesday, September 20th. The Joint Statement already has the support of these 74 countries:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Korea
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