From March 1-5, IPRT Executive Director Rick Lines travelled to Bucharest to provide technical assistance to the Romanian Ministry of Justice in strengthening their response to HIV/AIDS in prisons. This visit came as part of a UNICEF Technical Assistance Mission (TAM) in the country. While in Bucharest, Mr. Lines assisted the Ministry of Justice in the development of its multi-year strategic work plan on HIV/AIDS and the development of an implementation plan for the Ministry's projects supported by the Global Fund on HIV/AIDS.
While in Romania, Mr. Lines was based in the National Headquarters of the General Directorate of Prisons, and worked closely with both the National HIV/AIDS Coordinator and the Director of the Prison Medical Service on meeting the objectives of the TAM. He also met with representatives of UNICEF-Romania and various non-governmental organisations as part of the mission. Following the completion of the visit, the IPRT submitted a report and recommendations to UNICEF-Romania and to the Romanian Ministry of Justice.
Said Mr. Lines, "The IPRT welcomes the opportunity to work internationally in this manner, and to share our experiences while learning from those of others. The fact that Romanian Ministry of Justice is taking action on this issue is to their credit, and yet again exposes the continued failure of the Irish Government to act in a pragmatic and sensible way to address HIV prevention in our prisons. It is certainly ironic that the IPRT's input on the issue of HIV/AIDS in prisons is being sought out by prison services in other countries at the same time that it is being ignored by our own Department of Justice."