Similar advocacy notes have been published with a focus on Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Prisons and detention facilities are a high-risk environment for the spread of COVID-19, especially where they are overcrowded, cannot maintain adequate standards of sanitation and hygiene, and are limited in their capacity to ensure access to medical treatment.

In several countries around the world, the heightened risks of COVID-19 infection in prisons, combined with new restrictions on visits and communication with people outside prison, has intensified anxiety and tensions amongst people held within them, in some cases resulting in riots, escapes and violence.

Ensuring the safety and health of both prison staff, and people deprived of liberty, requires urgent action to reduce the risks and consequences of widespread COVID-19 infection. This advocacy note makes recommendations for reducing such risks and consequences, including by early release from, and suspension of arrests and admission into, prions, jails and other detention settings including drug rehabilitation centres in Southeast Asia.