Our Prison Expertise Inspires the Philippines

Following a symposium on the development of education in detention last March, the policy of libraries and reading in prison in the Philippines is inspired by Sipar know-how.

Colloque Manille Sipar prisons

Organized by UNODC, the colloque « Read Your Way, pour une réforme des prisons à travers les bibliothèques pour l’éducation des personnes en détention »was held in Manila from 13 to 16 March 2023. Béatrice Montariol, consultant for Sipar, based in Cambodia for 31 years, intervened to present our program "Education in prisons".

Sipar's experience of 10 years of collaboration with the General Department of Prisons of Cambodia for the creation of the national network of libraries in the 28 prisons of the kingdom was of particular interest to the hundred participants from all over the world. Already, prospects for the exchange of practices in the field of education and reintegration of detainees between Cambodia and the Philippines were under way.

In mid-September, one of the representatives of theUNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) of the Philippines informed us of the influence that the experience conducted by Sipar in Cambodia has had on the policy of libraries and reading in prisons in the Philippines.

In particular, they were able to set standards for prison libraries and their access to reading program. It was an existing but aging program and not yet institutionalized. The goal of the Philippines, as for Sipar in Cambodia, is to have at least one library in every prison and to make inmates active participants in the management of the library and not just beneficiaries.

We are delighted that Sipar's expertise can inspire other countries. There is still a long way to go and we are delighted to be able to learn and be inspired by the initiatives that exist around the world so that people deprived of their liberty can have the right to education.

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