We are the Initiative for Detainees (ID), a student initiative, part of the Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA), launched in October 2018 to further links between prisoners and the rest of society.

Our Vision

At ID, we believe that detention should be a measure of last resort that is always carried out in full accordance with human rights. This is in the best interest of the detainees but also of the society, as it will maximize the chances of successful reintegration after the incarceration.

Our Structure and Activities

Our work is broadly aligned along two branches:

Local Branch:

Through interaction with local Genevan (or farther) prisons, ID Local has two parallel yet complementary objectives:

  • To link the detainees with their immediate outside environment.
  • To promote the Graduate Institute as a local actor in Geneva and Switzerland.

Effectively, ID local will act as the Genevan branch of the GESEPI association, already active in Lausanne and Neuchâtel, providing linguistic classes and socio-cultural activities inside penitentiaries.

Potential Activities:

As a volunteer-based organization, ID local will be active in the local detention centres by:

  • Providing linguistic (or other) classes to the detainees.
  • Organizing socio-cultural, artistic or other activities inside the prisons.

As a guideline, ID aims at providing innovative ideas to improve detention practices and is therefore very flexible and open to new propositions by its volunteers.

International Awareness and Advocacy Branch

Taking advantage of the visibility and expertise of the Graduate Institute, ID International aims at engaging with the International Geneva community, as well as the Genevan student community, around the issue of detention conditions around the World. ID International will work to increase awareness and create debates on the rights and livelihoods of detainees worldwide.

Potential Activities:

To foment this discussion ID International will tap into its international board and volunteer base to:

  • Screen movies, organise conference panels and debates on themes related to detention conditions, the rights for prisoners, and the different prison systems around the world.
  • Organize public events throughout Geneva to engage directly with the local community on the above mentioned themes.

To involve the wider Genevan student body, ID International will collaborate with Amnesty International UNIGE by co-organizing events both at the Graduate Institute and at the University of Geneva.

Our past activities:

  • Screening of films such as 13th and Vol spécial, followed by expert interventions and discussions with the audience.
  • Facilitating participation of IHEID students in awareness events such as panel discussions and documentary screenings organised on the themes of prisons and prisoners’ rights by various other organisations in Geneva.
  • Debates on critical incarceration related concerns, including the topics “Segregation in Prisons” and “Parenting from/within prisons”.
  • Research Share by students and researchers working on themes of detention and incarceration from around the world.
  • Organising group visits for IHEID students to the exhibitions such as the PRISON exhibition at the ICRC Museum in 2019.

To know more or to get involved, please contact us through our Facebook page (Initiative for Detainees / Initiative pour les détenus IHEID: https://www.facebook.com/InitiativeForDetainees/ )

or by email: gisa.initiativesfordetainees@graduateinstitute.ch

You can also directly contact our Presidents through their IHEID emails.

ID International: Carolina DE LA TORRE UGARTE

ID Local: Arthur DUCLOS