Purpose of Ubumi Prisons Initiative (UPI)
- UPI’s purpose is to contribute to a general improvement of the conditions in prisons in Africa. UPI wishes to help to establish the best conditions possible for the inmates in terms
of physical, mental and social conditions and to work for that the inmates’ basic human rights are respected both while in prison and after imprisonment.
- The focus is to improve the situation for particularly vulnerable groups in prisons. The following groups are included: Children, seriously ill such as people with TB/HIV/AIDS, the
dying, the young, the pregnant, the mentally ill, the disabled, mothers and young children that stay in prison with their mothers. Other groups can be included if necessary. The
goal is to improve the inmates’ and their childrens’ situation in prison and after their release. For children and young people also applies to improve conditions for their upbringing
and future as citizens of their country.
- The association wishes to assist inmates in accessing legal advice.
- The association wishes to assist children, former inmates, their families and their local communities with the reintegration process.
- UPI works for general openness and tolerance in society. With a rights based approach UPI works to ensure former inmates and their children the right to return to society and a
life on equal terms with other citizens. Concerning children in prisons, UPI’s focus is to uphold the children’s’ rights through education, health services and protection from abuse
and to advocate for a rights based approach for young people in conflict with the law (juvenile justice).
- UPI strives to disseminate knowledge of prisoner conditions - this also includes awareness of their basic human rights.
The Vision of Ubumi
- UPI’s work is founded on internationally acknowledged principles and rights including the UN’s Human Rights Conventions and in particular, the Convention about Civil and
Political Rights, the Convention about Children’s Rights and the UN’s Standard of Minimum Rules for Prisoners, The Bangkok rules for prisons and the ILO’s Convention 105 about
Forced Labour. Especially the stipulations on human liberty and dignity as well as the ban on torture, inhumane and degrading treatment are at the centre of UPI’s work.
- UPI strives to comply with generally recognized principles of governance, transparency and anti-corruption in a high risk environment.
- UPI works from a rights based approach (RBA). UPI's point of departure isthatinmates and detainee smust be treated humanely and with respect for human dignity. The focus of
UPI’s work is that authorities and employees (the duty-bearers) fulfil their obligations towards the inmates and furthermore that the employees’ capacity to fulfil these obligations
is present. In addition, the UPI focus on the inmates’ (right-holders) rights, vulnerabilities, and their possibilities to draw attention to their rights.
- UPI works to relieve the mental, physical, social and health consequences of imprisonment. It is well documented that imprisonment is profoundly damaging to the inmates’
mental, social and physical health. The goal of the UPI is therefore to improve the inmates’ conditions in relation to the above areas (See § 2).
- The below is particularly related to children that accompany their mothers in prison:
- Children in prison have the right to a good start in life, which includes love, support, care, food, education and social development.
- All children have the right to a family including living with their mothers in prison if nobody else is able to take care of them.
UPI seeks to realise its purpose through the following activities:
- To initiate research/knowledge based projects in prisons, which can contribute to improving the inmates’ conditions, including but not limited to volunteer initiatives, training,
- To initiate food production projects or donate food and medicine where other forms of support are either impossible or insufficient.
- To conduct research and share knowledge in the field and to apply research.
- To cooperate with the inmates and their organizations, civil society and other relevant organizations and public authorities.
- To promote the work of legislative measures andsocial debate that defend the rights of inmates in prisons an dpromote the useof alternative sentence forms.
The below is particularly related to children that accompany their mothers in prison:
- To promote the understanding that children who accompany their mothers in prison belong to a vulnerable group in terms of health, nutrition, education, physical, mental and
- To promote the understanding that child’s rights are often violated in prisons due to lack of resources, capacity and due to stigma and discrimination.
- To support governments that launch practical initiatives that will ensure improved health, nutrition, and social development to children in prisons.
- To support childrens' access to educational activities and stimulate their development including accessto the community outside prisons, for example attending kindergarten.
- To support thechildren of mothers with longer prison sentences, which after a certain agehave to leave their imprisoned mothers and have no families to return to or have only
- To support families bringing up children whose mothers are imprisoned and support children's access to health, nutrition, education, social and psychological developmenton an
equal basis with other children in the family and community.
Ubumi is registered by all relevant Danish authorities such as the relevant tax and revenue authorities, the national collection board (indsamlingsnævnet) and more. Ubumi is registered as an international NGO in Zambia.