Committee against Torture
Sixt y- first session
Summary record of the 1549th meeting
Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Thursday, 27 July 2017, at 3 p.m.
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention (continued)
Seventh periodic report of Paraguay (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention (continued)
Seventh periodic report of Paraguay (continued) (CAT/C/PRY/7; CAT/C/PRY/QPR/7)
1.At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Paraguay took places at the Committee table.
2.Mr. Blanco (Paraguay), replying to questions raised at the 1546th meeting, said that the current Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended, prohibited judges from imposing alternative measures to pretrial detention where the criminal act might have endangered the life of a person; where the defendant was likely to commit additional similar crimes; and where the defendant had been accused of crimes that carried a prison sentence of more than 5 years. The purpose of the amendment was to ensure that defendants would stand trial, rather than aggravate their situation. Indicators developed by the judiciary on the use of pretrial detention, with a view to preventing abuse, had revealed that the majority of persons were remanded in custody under the aforementioned provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and 30 per cent might have been imprisoned as a result of a misinterpretation of those provisions. The law was currently under review by the National Commission on Reform of the Penal and Prison Systems. To assist with reforms, the Supreme Court had gathered information on persons from indigenous communities and persons with disabilities who had been held in pretrial detention, as part of efforts to ensure access to justice in line with the Brasilia Regulations Regarding Access to Justice for Vulnerable People. A criminal justice support commission had been set up to further assist in the legislative reforms by providing training and information to the Supreme Court of Justice.
3.The fact that the 11-year-old girl called Mainumby had been the victim of rape by her stepfather had been taken into account by the judicial authorities. She had been in good physical and mental health, and specialist medical practitioners had overseen the pregnancy, given her age. She had also received psychosocial support from a team of multidisciplinary experts, with her own and her mother’s consent. She had successfully given birth without any complications and without risk to her or her baby’s life, and received constant and comprehensive follow-up support from the judiciary’s social care team. The case against Mainumby’s mother had been dismissed, and the trial of Gilberto Benítez, the child’s stepfather, had been set for April 2018.
4.As at July 2015, a total of 505 billion guaraníes, equivalent to almost US$100 million, had been paid to around 1,500 victims of the country’s dictatorship. A further 2.5 billion guaraníes had been awarded to a new group of victims in 2016.
5.The Supreme Court of Justice had set up a pilot restorative justice programme for adolescents accused of criminal acts in 2014, whereby juveniles were dealt with by special officials including prosecutors, defence lawyers and mediators. With a view to ensuring social harmony, such adolescents were treated as developing persons and social and educational rehabilitation could be used as an alternative to prosecution. Victims and the community were also involved in resolving such cases.
6.Turning to the Curuguaty case, he said that the defence had filed appeals based on the evaluation of evidence. It was important to consider that judges were free to come to their own conclusions concerning evidence in criminal cases, as long as those conclusions were based on sound reasoning. When considering appeals, judges could only reconsider the trial court judge’s examination of the evidence; the evidence itself could not be reassessed. The appeals court had therefore had valid grounds on which to uphold the appealed ruling.
7.Mr. Martínez (Paraguay) said that joint task forces had been operating in the country since 2013, under the terms of a law passed by a majority vote in both chambers of the National Congress. Any Paraguayan citizen or civil society organization could challenge the constitutionality of that law before the Supreme Court of Justice. However, no such case had been brought to date. In addition, legal action could be taken should the joint task forces exceed the mandate established in the 2013 law.
8.Under the Paraguayan Criminal Code, the crime of torture carried a minimum custodial sentence of 5 years, which was the minimum allowed for serious crimes, and a maximum of 30 years, which was the maximum permitted under the country’s legal system.
9.In line with the Convention, a manual register of arrests had been established in all police stations throughout the country in 2013, where the police had to record, inter alia, the time of arrest, the name of the competent authority ordering the arrest, the place of detention and details of any requested medical check-up. The right of arrested persons to undergo a medical examination was guaranteed by local legislation, though it was not expressly mentioned in the Constitution. Medical examinations had to be conducted immediately when requested by detainees or their legal counsel, or in cases involving suspected physical violence on the part of the authorities. Defence counsel were able to verify that such examinations had been conducted. Compliance with the rules governing implementation of the register was very high in the capital and urban areas.
10.An electronic reporting system called “Marandu” had been piloted in Asunción with the aim of reducing the number of unrecorded complaints. The system enabled citizens to receive an immediate response and subsequent follow-up to their complaints. The Ministry of the Interior and the National Police were taking steps to roll out the system across the country. There were also plans to implement a similar electronic system for registers of detained persons.
11.In response to a question posed by Mr. Heller Rouassant at the previous meeting, he said that the National Police Commander had in fact signed resolution No. 665, approving the police procedure regarding juveniles in conflict with the law, on 21 July 2017. The “Let Us Be Citizens — Building Civic Harmony” programme, implemented by the Ministry of the Interior, was aimed at adolescents and children, and included particular measures to prevent crime among vulnerable adolescents. The initiative had been rolled out in many areas of the country where levels of crime were particularly high, with the local authorities, civil society and international organizations playing a key role.
12.With regard to Ms. Gaer’s query concerning disparities in data on domestic violence cases, he said that the State party did not have a tradition of gathering statistics, which meant that data were often unreliable, and many false reports or allegations which lacked the necessary specific details were received through the emergency telephone number. Nevertheless, recent action taken by the National Police, namely through the aforementioned Marandu electronic reporting system, was designed to combat the underreporting of complaints. Furthermore, the National Observatory on Security and Civic Harmony gathered reliable data from multiple government institutions to update crime figures and increase the transparency of the criminal justice system. Any future spikes in the numbers of reported crimes would be due to greater transparency and reliability of the data.
13.The events during the March 2017 protest had to be considered in context. Protesters had set fire to the Chamber of Senators, where the majority of the country’s senators had been present at the time. The events had been covered with total freedom by the country’s media. The National Police had submitted all of the available evidence to the competent authorities, and an investigation was under way, which was still in its early stages. The member of the security forces alleged to have fired the shot that had killed a member of the opposition party had been dismissed, as had the then National Police Commander and Minister of the Interior. No charges had yet been brought, but any officers found guilty of wrongdoing would face the full force of the law. In response to the events, the Ministry of the Interior had adopted a protocol to protect journalists in high-risk situations, and the National Police would be modernized and professionalized.
14.Ms. Rolón de Beraud (Paraguay) said that Rodrigo Quintana had sadly lost his life at the demonstration of 31 March 2017. The police had taken immediate action to clarify the facts by gathering evidence and taking statements, which included accusations against a number of police officers. Within 12 hours, the alleged perpetrator had been identified.
15.The Public Prosecution Service Specialized Unit on Human Rights Offences, which had been strengthened, had investigated torture, enforced disappearance, prosecution of innocent persons, forced depositions, bodily harm in the exercise of public functions, criminal charges brought against innocent persons, genocide and war crimes. Various mechanisms were in place to bring investigations to an end, including the conditional suspension of proceedings, the provisional dismissal of cases and the removal of persons from office. Investigations were also brought to an end in the absence of adequate evidence to prosecute. Cases that did not receive adequate follow-up were noted. An oversight system had been established in the form of an early warning mechanism that was intended to remove obstacles to prosecution. The system was in development but would in time be extended to cover the entire country. To date, the Specialized Unit on Human Rights Offences had brought charges for crimes committed between 1954 and 1999. With respect to the crime of torture, eight persons had been placed under pretrial house arrest due to their advanced age. Data on the investigation of human rights offences by judges were not disaggregated by criminal charge.
16.In 2016, the police training centre had held more than 400 training courses and thousands of public officials had received training. The “Practical guide to investigating cases of torture” had been updated in 2011 and related workshops had been developed in cooperation with Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A number of events had taken place, including workshops on fair trials for human rights violations and an international seminar on the prosecution of crimes against humanity. The human rights instruments ratified by Paraguay had been broken down by area of interest with a list of the legislation that transposed the international provisions into domestic law.
17.The three victims of the child pornography ring discovered in Tacumbú prison had been subjected to sexual abuse at the prison; they were 14, 15 and 19 years of age.
18.Ms. Méndez (Paraguay) said that the National Human Rights Plan was the only instrument of public policy in that field and took a pioneering approach, which involved the inclusion of all human rights treaty body recommendations as areas for direct action. Consensus had not been reached on all issues. Abortion was an area where consensus was lacking and on which some members of the plan’s coordination committee had expressed dissenting opinions. No government policy could contradict the Constitution.
19.Her Government deplored the fact that the National Human Rights Plan did not fully reflect the consensus achieved on human rights policy. Dialogue with civil society organizations on the plan had resumed in the first half of 2017, alongside discussions in the follow-up committee for the plan. Meetings had been organized to facilitate implementation of the plan and an initial progress report had been produced. The Human Rights Network of the executive branch had linked the national plans on human rights and on development with the aim of establishing a digital follow-up system that included indicators for human rights policies. The prevention of torture was a key element of the plan; there were 18 strategic actions linked to combating torture which set out individual responsibilities and a timeline for action. Issue 4 of the plan — human security — partially covered sexual and reproductive rights.
20.In preparation for her country’s universal periodic review before the Human Rights Council, information on the institutionalization of human rights had been gathered by the Human Rights Network. The Network included 36 institutions and covered all three branches of government. It had adopted a plan of action for the period 2016-2017 that was aimed at strengthening the Network, promoting and protecting specific groups of the population and coordinating the work of different institutions. The Network needed to strengthen its capacity to address complaints of torture — an area where support from international partners would be important.
21.Disaggregated data on persons deprived of their liberty were available: the prison population had increased between 2015 and 2016, but had dropped slightly in the first half of 2017. There were 18 adult prisons in Paraguay — 3 were exclusively for women while 6 were mixed prisons with separate wings for women, who were kept apart from male prisoners. The serious overcrowding problem in prisons was to be tackled, inter alia, by refurbishment and the building of new prisons.
22.New educational centres for adolescent offenders would accommodate two offenders in each bedroom, while plans for new reintegration centres that would meet international standards would eventually allow Tacumbú prison to be closed. The Ciudad del Este prison would be replaced by two new prisons. Transfers to the new prisons would take place gradually. Adolescent offenders benefited from the introduction of a new system for sentence enforcement with new centres in four cities and refurbished centres in others. There was one centre specifically for female adolescent offenders. All adolescent offenders were kept separate from adult prisoners.
23.A road map for juvenile offenders was being established to guide intervention from arrest through to sentencing and restorative justice. Activities focused on strengthening family links and partially open regimes had shown encouraging results. In two communities, the educational measures provided included advice on school placement and vocational training, and training on drug addiction. Improvements had been made to the food provided at the Pedro Juan Caballero centre, which accommodated 31 adolescent offenders. The vast majority of juvenile offenders were enrolled in educational programmes.
24.Improvements to health care in prisons included a plan to improve mental health and better training for law enforcement officials and prison officers. Obstetric check-ups were provided for female detainees in Buen Pastor prison. Additional health-care equipment had been procured and additional medical personnel recruited.
25.A bill to protect freedom of expression for journalists, members of the press and human rights defenders, based on recommendations from the universal periodic review of 2016, was under consideration by parliament and had been approved by the parliamentary human rights committee.
26.Mr. Silvera Ghezzi (Paraguay) said that the Public Defender Service enjoyed operational and financial independence and could assign its resources as it saw fit. The Service provided an institutional safeguard for human rights and promoted local, regional, national and international cooperation to protect human rights. Its human resources had increased by more than 50 per cent between 2012 and 2017 and its budget had risen substantially in the same period. The Service had 57 offices across the country and 54 vehicles to facilitate the work of public defenders.
27.The Service’s observatory of prisons made unannounced visits to prisons and informed the authorities of any measures required to improve conditions. Visits involved anonymous and confidential interviews with approximately 200 randomly selected inmates in each prison. The observatory considered treatment, including torture and ill-treatment, cell conditions, food, hygiene and access to health care.
28.Ms. Paiva (Paraguay) said that the legal provisions on the use of solitary confinement in prisons as a disciplinary punishment had been amended in 2014. Offences committed in prison were divided into three categories and solitary confinement was applicable only to offences in the two most serious categories. The procedure for solitary confinement involved daily visits from high-ranking prison officers and medical staff. The procedure and reason for punishment was explained to the prisoner, who received a copy of the decision made and benefited from a five-day appeal period. Other disciplinary measures included the issuance of warnings and the suspension of visits or leave from prison. Staff in women’s prisons were being given improved training. Although rates of solitary confinement were high, its use was declining. Guidelines on the application of solitary confinement were being drafted and would be explained to all staff once approved. Training was needed on alternative dispute resolution in prison.
29.The Government’s statistics on deaths in detention differed from those quoted by the Committee. Disaggregated data indicated that most male prisoner deaths between 2013 and 2017 had occurred in Ciudad del Este and Tacumbú prisons. In total, there had been 144 deaths in detention between 2013 and 2017, 132 of which had been male prisoners, 6 female prisoners and 6 adolescent offenders.
30.The Ministry of Justice had established a security and intelligence unit that made periodic unannounced visits to prisons and educational centres to seize prohibited items. Overall, 100 members of staff had been trained in the use of weapons and teams had been established to enhance communication and disseminate the rules on the use of force by prison officers.
31.The Ministry of Justice had initiated a process to bring the prison system into line with international standards, including provision for filing complaints of torture to the prison authorities. To that end, protocols concerning the processing of and follow-up to complaints had been established, including urgent procedures to be followed in response to complaints of torture submitted by persons deprived of liberty.
32.Agreements concerning searches for disappeared persons had been concluded with the participation of civil society. Between 2007 and 2017, the skeletal remains of 36 individuals had been exhumed in the framework of investigations conducted by the Public Prosecution Service. Those remains were currently held in the morgue under the management of the Public Prosecution Service pending forensic examination and identification of the bodies with the assistance of a team of forensic experts from Argentina, which had constructed genetic profiles of 25 of the recovered skeletons. In addition, four bodies had been identified in 2016, three of them victims of Operation Condor that had been returned to their families in a public ceremony. A public campaign to raise awareness of that find had also been launched.
33.The Directorate for Reparation and Historical Memory, which coordinated the work of the national team responsible for investigating, searching for and identifying persons who had been arrested, had disappeared or had been extrajudicially executed during the period 1954-1989, had been afforded additional human resources and reorganized in order to achieve its objectives. The Ministry of Justice had a search and identification budget for victims of enforced disappearance.
34.Mr. Vázquez (Paraguay) said that the Directorate for the Protection of Children and Adolescents had been established within the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and was exclusively responsible for preventing child labour. A specialized unit on child labour had also been created within the Ministry of Education. All public sector employers were required to swear an oath confirming the absence of child labour in their services. The National Council for Children and Adolescents had published an inter-institutional guide on interventions for the protection of minors. The “Embrace” programme of prevention, intervention and protection of children and adolescents who worked on the streets and in other public places had been expanded to cover all aspects of child labour, particularly in brick-making factories, rubbish dumps and harvesting. The Comprehensive Programme for Children and Adolescents Living on the Streets was also in place for children who had no family.
35.The National Secretariat for Children and Adolescents coordinated a programme to provide assistance for children engaged in unpaid domestic child labour (criadazgo). It had drawn up legislative bills to redress the situation of child labour in the country, one of which, currently before Congress, criminalized the exploitation of child labour and provided for penalties. Act No. 5407 of 2015 prohibited the recruitment of domestic workers under 18 years of age. Public awareness campaigns had also been launched to discourage the use of the criadazgo system. Although legislation on the criadazgo system had not yet been passed, the Public Prosecution Service had conducted investigations into cases of criadazgo on the basis of legislation on trafficking in persons, which criminalized forced labour. Under the National Secretariat for Children and Adolescents, a hotline had been set up to enable children to call and report any violations of their rights.
36.Mr. Blanco (Paraguay) said that not all criadazgo situations should be dismissed out of hand: he himself had been brought up in the criadazgo system and owed much to the person who had been responsible for him.
37.Mr. Scapinni (Paraguay) said that the Chamber of Senators was currently holding discussions regarding the bill on citizenship for stateless persons with various relevant bodies, including the National Refugee Commission, to gather opinions on the text and ensure its consistency with international standards and other citizenship application procedures in the country. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had confirmed that the bill was in line with international norms and its views had been taken into account in the amendments to the bill, which would be finalized at the end of August 2017.
38.With regard to the triple-border area, a large number of migrants crossed into the country from various regions, including Syria and Lebanon. Refugees were issued with special permits granting them the right to stay in the country pending decisions on their applications for asylum. Of 35 asylum applications in 2017, 9 were from Syrian nationals, 8 of which related to 2 families. Applications from Syrian nationals were given priority and processed rapidly.
39.With regard to the incorporation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court into domestic law, following consultations with relevant stakeholders, the amended bill on implementing legislation had been presented to the Chamber of Deputies in June 2017 for further examination and eventual adoption. The process of incorporating the Ombudsman’s Office into the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions was under way. The national preventive mechanism, like all public institutions, was affected, although not disproportionately, by the national austerity measures and cuts to the state budget.
40.Mr. Heller Rouassant, welcoming a number of legislative and institutional measures to prevent acts of torture in the State party, said that it was a matter of concern that an impartial investigation had still not been conducted into the serious events that had taken place in Curuguaty on 15 June 2012 and that no police officers had been prosecuted. The Government should envisage revising article 309 of the Criminal Code to ensure that the definition of torture it contained was in line with article 1 of the Convention, particularly with regard to acts of torture committed for any reason based on discrimination of any kind. The Government should strengthen investigative processes to prevent impunity of public officials who had committed offences; strengthen supervision of prison agents to prevent acts of torture; and implement, in practice, victim and witness protection systems, which had been established by law. Human rights violations against civilians should not be prosecuted in military but in civil courts. The Government should address reports that detainees were prevented from contacting a family member and a lawyer of their choice, and were at the mercy of individual police officers. Specialized medical services should be strengthened in order to detect signs of torture in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol, and resources should be secured to ensure the effective operation of the national preventive mechanism.
41.Ms. Belmir, referring to her previous question on confessions obtained through torture, said that a judge’s decision, which constituted the last stage of criminal proceedings, was necessarily based on reasoned grounds. She was concerned that the activities of the examining magistrates of the Human Rights Unit were not aligned with the Istanbul Protocol. The amendment to article 245 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be reviewed, as it prevented judges from granting release on bail and facilitated the use of pretrial detention, which should be a last resort. Proper maintenance of detainee registers in all the country’s police stations remained a problem.
42.Certain victims of enforced disappearance, and their families, had reported having to seek compensation abroad but it was important that the State party provide for reparation in all founded cases of enforced disappearance. She asked whether the “Embrace” programme targeted only children who worked on the streets or also those who lived on the streets. She was concerned that court rulings for offences involving torture or ill-treatment were rarely based on article 309 of the Criminal Code, concerning enforced disappearance and torture, but more often invoked provisions on assault and battery.
43.Mr. Hani said that, although the Committee was pleased that Paraguay had been the first Latin American country to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention and to establish a national preventive mechanism, the State party should allocate sufficient resources to enable the mechanism to fully discharge its functions, especially since it was doing excellent work. General budget cuts notwithstanding, it was always wise to invest in prevention. Recalling that pretrial detention should be the exception rather than the rule and should be strictly regulated, he wished to know more about the content of the amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure being discussed, in particular whether it was true that there were plans to increase the use of pretrial detention even further and what would be done regarding children in conflict with the law, an alarming percentage of whom were in pretrial detention. He would be grateful for a reply to his question on non-coercive investigation techniques and for more details on military courts and the involvement of the military in law enforcement operations.
44.Ms. Racu said that she would appreciate a response regarding the situation of women at the Buen Pastor prison, particularly the humiliating practices and institutional violence mentioned in the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
45.Ms. Gaer said that, while she appreciated the difficulties involved in the operation of the 911 domestic violence hotline, she had pressed the State party on statistics because the 4 per cent investigation rate in cases of domestic violence seemed unusually low. She wished to know whether it was true that nearly 90 per cent of domestic violence cases were closed when the victim withdrew the complaint, even though the offence should, by law, be prosecuted ex officio, and, if so, how the Government was addressing the situation. She also wished to know what steps were being taken to prevent cases similar to that of the child pornography ring run out of Tacumbú prison. She would be grateful for information on steps taken to ensure that women and girls who were sexually abused received the medical care they needed and to protect the growing number of girls who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
46.The Chair said that he was even more concerned about the possibility of filing a complaint of torture safely than he had been during the first half of the dialogue because the State party’s reply had referred only to complaints of police corruption. Moreover, it was his understanding that complaints against the police were to be filed with the police, which was obviously not encouraging for alleged victims. He wished to know what services, in addition to medical care, were provided to victims of violence or torture committed by a State official, whether injuries were documented and the medical report then transmitted to the investigative authorities and, if so, how many investigations had been opened on the basis of a medical examination. Was the 30-day limit on solitary confinement still applied, especially considering that it far exceeded the limit set in the Nelson Mandela Rules? If so, how many individuals had been kept in isolation for the full period?
47.Mr. Heller Rouassant said that he would appreciate a reply regarding: the director of the Pedro Juan Caballero men’s prison and the director of the Pedro Juan Caballero educational facility who had been reported for torture but remained in their posts; the isolation cell known as “Alcatraz” at Tacumbú prison; and the status of the cases of Pánfilo Franco Toledo, Antonio Benítez and Marcial Martínez.
The meeting was suspended at 5.20 p.m. and resumed at 5.40 p.m.
48.Mr. Blanco (Paraguay) said that the four accused persons in the Curuguaty case had lodged an extraordinary appeal with the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court. That type of appeal was not merely the continuation of proceedings but, rather, a whole new case, which meant that any number of outcomes were possible. Nevertheless, given that the case had a high profile, the ruling was likely to be handed down in as little as 30 days. The Government had been roundly criticized because some repeat offenders had benefited from alternatives to detention, only to reoffend and return to prison; consequently, there had been a resurgence in the use of pretrial detention. The recategorization of domestic violence as a serious offence had led to a spike in the inmate population for which the system had not been prepared.
49.Mr. Martínez (Paraguay) said that there was no confusion between corruption and torture; however, the same hotline was used to report both offences and was intended to protect the anonymity of complainants. Individuals could file a complaint with the police or directly with the Public Prosecution Service. The authorities shared the Committee’s concern about the proper use of detention registers, which was why registers were included in the Marandu electronic reporting system.
50.The discrepancy between the number of cases of domestic violence that were reported and those that were investigated was largely due to the high rate of false claims made via the hotline. Furthermore, hotline staff did not necessarily categorize cases in the same manner as the police and prosecution service. Nevertheless, domestic violence was a priority for the National Police, which had established dedicated units in eight police stations throughout the country, with plans for more.
51.Regarding the involvement of the military in law enforcement, a law had been approved by the parliament but had then run into opposition from some quarters. The decision on next steps and possible amendments was one for the legislative branch and would be discussed shortly.
52.Ms. Rolón de Beraud (Paraguay) said that, pursuant to Act No. 483 of 2011, the Attorney General’s Office had established a directorate for victim and witness protection. The Public Prosecution Service was working on amendments to fill technical and legal gaps in the Act, including in relation to organized crime and human rights violations. In addition, the Service had issued instructions to prosecutors on the protection of witnesses, victims and other persons at risk owing to their involvement in criminal proceedings. The Ministry of Justice had requested technical assistance from the Attorney General’s Office on setting up a directorate for the protection of persons deprived of their liberty.
53.The handbook on the effective investigation and documentation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment had been brought into line with the Istanbul Protocol in 2011, and a directorate of forensic medicine attached to the Public Prosecution Service conducted inspections with an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, social workers and forensic doctors. Regarding the specific cases raised by the Committee, it should be noted that indictment was contingent on having sufficient evidence, which was why a number of the cases, including that of Antonio Benítez, remained in the investigation phase.
54.Ms. Méndez (Paraguay) said that in order to prevent situations like the one at Buen Pastor prison, where women had been subjected to invasive body searches, scanners and metal detectors had been installed at all prisons in keeping with the Nelson Mandela Rules. There were seven centres for adolescents in conflict with the law and minors in other facilities were held separately from adults.
55.Ms. Paiva (Paraguay) said that the limit on solitary confinement was indeed 30 days, but in practice inmates were rarely held in isolation for that long a period. The Ministry of Justice had set up a committee to develop guidelines on the use of solitary confinement as a disciplinary measure, and the relevant provision would be amended to comply with the Nelson Mandela Rules. There were two semi-open facilities, one of which was for female offenders who had exhibited good behaviour and currently housed four inmates, although it had a capacity of 30. La Esperanza integrated educational facility for adolescents was a semi-open centre. The first education centre for recently released adolescents had been opened and provided psychological support and the opportunity for paid apprenticeships.
56.Mr. Silvera Ghezzi (Paraguay) said that there were different programmes for street children depending on whether or not they still had ties with their family.
57.Mr. Blanco (Paraguay) said that the delegation had been eager to hear the Committee’s remarks, which would be reviewed and used, inter alia, in the training of future justice officials.
58.The Chair said that the Committee had appreciated the delegation’s cooperation and positive attitude towards the dialogue.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m.