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While the poor state of French prisons led many to fear a serious health crisis in the wake of Covid-19, the worst of those fears have not materialised. However, the drastic lockdown measures have done nothing to benefit the mental health of detainees. Nor have they led to any serious reevaluation of the system itself.
In addition to economic or altruistic motivation, anonymity plays a key role in egg or sperm donation, although an increasing number of countries require disclosure of donor identities.
The situation is much more difficult for trans and intersex people. In addition to the legal barriers, they face economic stumbling blocks: most public health systems cover only part of the costs or have very long wait lists or narrow access criteria.
A survey coordinated by Lighthouse Reports and Picum reveals that when it comes to vaccinating undocumented residents, governments have often not done enough, and sometimes nothing at all, putting the health of the general population at risk.
Football, the gym, personal visits, all came to an abrupt end in Hungarian prisons as the coronavirus outbreak hit. Since then, prisoners and relatives have taken to Skype. The lack of face-to-face meetings has been offset by the fact that the great majority of prisoners have been vaccinated.
Erika and her husband have tried in-vitro fertilisation four times since 2017, but after two implantations without success they had enough of the overworked Hungarian healthcare system and decided to try their luck abroad. They have never regretted their decision.
Cramped, often unhygienic, and already characterised by numerous restrictions, many prisons in Europe were hit hard by the pandemic. In Italy, where prison facilities are among the most overcrowded in the EU, the pandemic aggravated a number of preexisting systemic problems.
An interview with Alessio Scandurra, director of the European Prison Observatory, to understand the impact of the pandemic on European prisons, in terms of both healthcare and opportunities for inmates.
"The epidemic has been contained at the cost of enormous sacrifices for France’s prison population", says Dominique Simonnot, French chief prisons inspector.
For years the media have denounced that Romania is becoming the landfill of Europe. Yet, the institutions do not intervene, and meanwhile the European Environment Agency reports that the country ranks first in Europe for deaths caused by pollution.