Improving prison conditions and prisoners' treatment

A libray building and recreational terrace

OHCHR continued promoting prisoners’ right to the highest attainable standard of health, through advocacy and support for secured hospital rooms for sick prisoners and improved living conditions in prison. Building on cooperation with provincial health departments, medical NGOs and national and provincial prison authorities, secured rooms were completed in fifteen referral hospitals with support from OHCHR, enabling sick prisoners to be treated without being chained or handcuffed.

In prisons, OHCHR provided material support for additional window-opening to improve light and ventilation inside the cells, and to improve water and sanitation access. OHCHR coordinated with partners the provision of supplies to assist with flood prevention as well as advocate for minimum prison construction standards to be adhered to in two new prisons in north-west provinces. Other hygienic materials and supplies have also been provided for prisoners.

To avoid prison overcrowding, OHCHR’s PRSP continues to work closely with prison registry officers to review the lists of prisoners pending appeal or otherwise in lack of final judgements, and support follow-up with the courts and legal aid organisations. As of December 2017, 39% of the Cambodia prison population has been convicted but lacks final judgment, as the judgment is pending appeal or the court has not written up or shared the verdict documents with the prison or because the court documents have been lost in the systems. In parallel to work on the court database (see Rule of Law section), OHCHR has agreed with GDP to support improvement of the GDP database to improve nationwide prisoner files management and reduce excessive detention during pre-trial, pending appeal or at release time.