Online Training
B-COMPETENT: Background information

In the framework of increasingly multi-ethnic correctional settings, where language and cultural barriers faced by Foreign Nationals pose significant challenges to prison systems, penitentiary staff play a pivotal role to ensure human rights protection and fair treatment of prisoners, preventing episodes of radicalization and extremism.

Against this background, B-ComPetent aims to provide penitentiary staff trainers with a set of multidisciplinary skills necessary to properly train the civilian front-line prison staff, who will gain increased knowledge of EU legislation and standards related to human rights, with a special focus on foreign inmates’ needs and rights.

Training Program: Objectives
  • developing a standardized training methodology in EU countries, Albania and Montenegro, designed to provide prison civilian staff with a set of juridical and operational skills to deal with foreign prisoners and to meet their needs in their daily work;
  • building capacity of prison staff trainers by promoting the acquisition of integrated multidisciplinary competencies on cultural-mediation, psychological, ethic, sociological and security-related aspects concerning the treatment of foreign prisoners;
  • Increasing knowledge and awareness among trainers and prison civilian staff about national/EU law and practices, regional and international human rights law and CoE standards focused on the treatment of ethnic minorities in prison.
B-COMPETENT training course is designed as a training tool for civilian penitentiary staff, prison managers, prison staff trainers and all those responsible for working with Foreign National Prisoners in Europe.
Key features

Access to and use of B-COMPETENT e-learning course is free. The modules can be used on a self-learning basis for independent study by learners.

  • 10 modules (1 h each)
  • 100% online: start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
  • Approximately 20 hours to complete (10 h of video recorded lessons + 10 h of self-study)
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Albanian, English, French, Greek, Italian, Montenegrin and Spanish
  • Multiple choice test on completion of each module
  • Free access to a wide range of multilingual training tools and resources: PPT slides, references, bibliography, sitography, articles, reports, publications.
The concepts of "immigration" and "international protection"
Ermonela Xhafa | Commissioner at Avokati I Popullit | Albania

This Module combines theretical context - including background and definitions - actual developments with regards to international, European and Albanian legislation and some practical examples from the activities of the Albanian NPM.

Objectives :

  1. Raising awareness that foreigners are vulnerable persons more likely to face increased difficulties and discrimination in prison; 

  2. Improving understanding of the specific rights Foreign Nationals are entitled to in prison settings; 

  3. Increasing the ability of those who are responsible for the care of foreign prisoners to address difficulties that are likely to arise during the detention of foreigners.

International protection: European Court of Human Rights, Court of Justice of the European Union and United Nations Human Rights Committee
Heliona Miço | PhD Lecturer of Law at “Epoka University” of Tirana | Albania


The module will specifically focus on the jurisdiction of European Court of Human Rights, the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of European Union, as well as the function of United Nations Human Rights Committee as a supervisory body of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The training course will treat the conditions of exercise of rights and freedoms particularly for foreign prisoners in the international legal framework and it will dwell on state obligations under international regulations.

Regulation of the administrative situation of non-nationals
Antonella Croce | PHD Lecturer at University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” - Department of Law | Italy

This Module deals with the general administrative procedures to activate, as far as persons coming from third countries enter the European Union space. This lesson analyses the contents of the Dublin Convention and, specifically, the Italian rules concerning the acceptance of immigrants, focusing on the protection of their fundamental rights.

European standards in the work with foreign inmates
Federica Brioschi | Researcher at Associazione Antigone | Italy

The UNODC Handbook on Prisoners with special needs that contains a chapter on foreign inmates, highlights the many disadvantages that Foreign Nationals have to face when they encounter the criminal justice system. The handbook also points out that often “cooperation between immigration authorities and prison administrations is inadequate in many countries” and that sometimes “prison staff are not trained to assist with immigration issues and cannot respond to the needs of such prisoners”.

Therefore, in the work with foreign inmates, it can be useful to consider some international standards that can offer guidance in this regard. The training module focuses on staff ethics and professionality and on the training that it is recommended to have in the work with foreign inmates.

Religious freedom and imprisonment. Part 1: General features
Antonella Croce | PHD Lecturer at University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” - Department of Law | Italy

The module deals with the examination of the religious freedom across the European space. It is protected at all levels, starting from the various European Constitutions and arriving to the Charter Of Fundamental Rights Of The European Union and the European Convention of Human Rights. This right is also essential at an international level and it is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Particularly, the topic seems to be relevant for those who are deprived of their liberty because of imprisonment sentence. For what concerns the Italian legal system, the issue is encompassed in penitentiary law, that provides for the protection of religious grounds in the management of ordinary life in prison. After a general overview on the constitutional relevance of freedom, the lesson will focus specifically on guaranteeing religious freedom within institutions of punishment, in particular for foreign detainees belonging to a minority.

Religious freedom and imprisonment (Part 2): Radicalisation
Daniela Bifulco | Full Professor of public comparative law at the University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” - Law Department | Italy

The module deals with the radicalisation processes which can be documented in prisons. This topic is linked to a fundamentalist view of religious matters. After a definition of radicalisation, the lesson will focus on the distinction between religion and beliefs. At the end, attention will be addressed to the possible rehabilitation of radicalised prisoners.

The right to access to justice in equal terms – General Part
Federica Brioschi | Researcher at Associazione Antigone | Italy

For detained Foreign Nationals access to legal advice and assistance can be more complicated than for detained citizens. One of the reasons is the language barrier but also the lack of knowledge of the criminal justice system or the lack of knowledge about their rights during the trial. During their detention they might encounter problems regarding prison treatment that is often not tailored to foreign inmates and that might lack opportunities for them.

The objective of the module is to provide a brief overview of detainees’ rights during the first phases of their trial (procedural rights in the criminal justice system) and during their detention in respect to the regime they should be subjected to (and the prison treatment) and the specific aspects of education and training in prison.

The right to access to justice and other rights – Part 1: Communication and health
Alejandro Forero Cuellar | Associate Professor at University of Barcelona - OSPDH | Spain

Foreign prisoners face a greater risk of isolation due to the fact that in many cases their families live abroad, because they lack personal relations with and support of the external world, partly due to language barriers. Health attention, both physical and mental should also be provided in equal terms than the rest of inmates and should deal with special needs. Prison staff play a central role in the daily life of inmates and an important part of its work is to provide the material and informational conditions necessary for prisoners to exercise their rights. In this regard, training programmes for prison staff should include international and regional human rights standards to guarantee that these rights are fulfilled and to ensure a more respectful human rights environment both for inmates and staff. 

The right to access to justice and other rights – Part 2: Women & children Work
Monica Aranda Ocaña | Professor at University of Barcelona - OSPDH | Spain


This module deals with the conditions of women in European prisons, the issue of discrimination that they suffer and with the special condition of those women deprived of liberty who take care of their minor children. Likewise, this Module will try to show the regulation related to productive work that prisoners can develop in prison with special attention to the situation of Foreign Prisoners. Possible impediments to access will be examined.

Conflict Theory - Alternative Conflict Resolution
Antonella Croce | PHD Lecturer at University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” - Department of Law | Italy

Knowledge in the field of restorative justice is intended to guarantee that the execution of the sentence takes place in such a way as to assure the rehabilitation of the prisoners, safeguarding their fundamental rights. 

This Module deals with the analysis of the alternative method of resolution of conflicts. The objective of the lesson is to provide an exhaustive overview and knowledge in the field of the restorative justice, as an alternative method to solve disagreements both between inmates and their victims and among detainees and prison staff within penitentiaries. Furthermore, the module analyzes the various programs to implement such conciliatory procedures, inside prisons as well. All these elements are particularly important to best assure the rehabilitation process of detainees, in the view of their reintegration into society.

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