Last year, ICRC delegates visited over half-a-million persons detained in situations of armed conflict, armed violence and political tensions.
Health staff often take part in these visits, including those at Guantanamo, to monitor and assess the physical and psychological well being of detainees.
Our doctors and nurses provide individual and collective assistance to detainees. Whenever possible, they also tackle structural deficiencies by supporting the health system at prison or national levels.
In 2011, ICRC health staff participated in over 3,000 detention visits in over 500 facilities worldwide, addressing issues ranging from ill-treatement and hunger strikes to TB, nutrition and the provision of clean water.
Dr. Raed Abu Rabi heads the Health in Detention team at our Geneva headquarters. During a Washington visit last week, he explained the range of health issues faced by detainees and why health will remain a key component of our detention work for years to come.