Contributor(s)International Prison Observatory - Belgian section


The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled against Belgium in November 2015. The case, Bamouhammad vs. Belgium exposed the difficulty prisoners have accessing health care and avoiding poor conditions in prison. The Belgian government has not yet undertaken any measures to rectify these issues.

The relationship between Belgium’s inmates and prison guards is strained. Several guards from the Forest prison were detained in June and prosecuted for ill treatment and harassment. Other guards challenged the accusations by going on strike. The Belgian government cut prison spending by 10% for 2015. The number of penitentiary staff decreased from 2014, when levels were already considered insufficient.

Country population


Type of government

Parliamentary monarchy

Human Development Index