1.  From policy to practice: people at the center to improve Health For All

Health in detention is a vital component of the public health system of any country. The constant flow of regular exchanges between places of detention and society emphasizes the importance of investing in health in detention to protect everyone. This means strengthening patient-centred care in detention is a key driver of quality and health outcomes for all. In addition, people at the center of health systems include beneficiaries but also medical staff, security staff and authorities who act as key mediators within the systems themselves. We aim to explore solutions to improve health care in detention in policy and practice with inter-sectorial participation and collaboration.


2. Towards stronger health systems in detention

Once detained, an individual’s health may worsen because of poor living conditions, such as deficient sanitation and unbalanced diets. Overcrowding increases the likelihood of the transmission of infectious diseases – in particular TB, HIV and hepatitis. Increasing life expectancy, and longer and harsher sentences, have resulted in higher numbers of older people being held in prison in many countries, increasing the burden of non-communicable diseases in detention health systems. Stress arising from living in places of detention also increases the likelihood of risky behaviours – such as drug use or self-harm – compounding the adverse effects detention has on mental and physical health. Having fewer resources than community health services, places of detention often struggle to meet the high demands for health care and assure equivalence of care and equity.  Learning from one another’s experiences will help us work together to strengthen health systems in detention by facilitating more cross-sectoral work, influencing policies and achieving sustainable solutions.


3. Making the invisible visible

Most people in detention come from marginalized segments of society, shouldering a higher than average burden of ill health with less access to health-care services. We aim to be proactive in identifying, reaching and including groups of people who are often marginalized in detention, such as women, children, older people, persons with disabilities and/or mental health conditions and survivors of sexual violence. This “making the invisible visible” approach aims to ensure access to health care throughout the whole continuum of care.


4. Embracing the digital transformation

Through this conference, we aim to embrace innovation and digital transformation to become more flexible and agile actors, responding more promptly, effectively, ethically and securely to the changing needs of people in detention.




• International norms/standards

• Governance and leadership

• Human resources

• Evidence and data

• Nutrition and other determinants of health

• Covid-19 lessons learnt

• Infectious diseases

• Non-communicable diseases

• Mental health

• Substance use

• Disabilities

• Experiences of people in detention

• Gender vulnerabilities

• Children and adolescents

• Tele-health and digital tools