Three regional cooperation programmes of the European Union (COPOLAD II, EL PAcCTO and EUROsociAL+) have joined forces and innovative working methods to organise the Bi-Regional Conference on fostering the use of Alternative Measures to Imprisonment, which will take place in Montevideo on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 September at the Executive Tower of the Presidency of Uruguay and at the Radisson Victoria Plaza Hotel, respectively.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the average rate of persons deprived of liberty is over 226/100,000 inhabitants, and the trend is towards an increase. The objective of this two-day Conference is to reflect on the management of penal, penitentiary and reinsertion policies, to present alternative measures to deprivation of liberty and to generate awareness of the advantages that these innovative and effective proposals imply in judicial, economic, social and political terms for all countries.
Experts in the Justice sector, actors from the prison sector and institutional representatives from different countries will participate in round tables and discussions with the aim of promoting debate and sharing successful experiences on the application of alternative measures to deprivation of liberty aimed at reducing overcrowding in prisons, lowering recidivism rates, facilitating processes to improve the social reintegration of prisoners and fighting more effectively against organized crime that thrives in prisons in the region. These challenges are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of 2030 Agenda, and include the gender perspective in policies of alternative measures to deprivation of liberty.
The conference will be inaugurated on Thursday 19 September at 9:00 a.m. by Jorge de la Caballería, from the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission; together with the Uruguayan representatives Jorge Díaz Almeida, Attorney General of the Nation; Elena Martínez Rosso, Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice and Juan Andrés Roballo, Secretary-general of the Presidency of the Republic and President of the Board of Directors of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation (AUCI) and the Drugs National Board (JND).
Josep Borrell, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and the next High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union will also send an institutional greeting during the opening ceremony.
In addition, Eduardo Bonomi, Uruguay's Minister of Home Affairs; Andrea Vignolo, Executive Director of the Uruguayan International Cooperation Agency; and institutional representatives of the three European programmes (EUROsociAL+, COPOLAD II, EL PAcCTO) and their implementing Consortiums made up of cooperation agencies and international organisations: FIIAPP, Expertise France, IILA, Camões and SISCA-SICA will also be present at the highlights of the conference.