This guide introduces the UN Bangkok Rules and other relevant sources of international law to bodies monitoring places of detention, including National Preventive Mechanisms, and provides guidance on assessing risk factors and making recommendations to improve the protection of women against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Despite recent renewed attention on violence against women, one particularly vulnerable group has so far been ignored: women in prison and women suspected, charged or convicted of a criminal offence, who appear not to fit the stereotype of women as victim. However, women in prison are disproportionately likely to have a history of domestic or sexual abuse, and to find themselves at an even higher risk of falling victim to violence, torture and ill-treatment when detained. At the same time, however, their gender specific needs are recognised to an even lesser extent than in they are in the society 'outside'.
Bodies established to monitor places of detention and to prevent torture and ill-treatment can play a crucial role in strengthening the protection from violence of women and girls in detention and in assessing whether the gender specific needs are being met in places where women are detained.
PRI and APT have also published a blog today to highlight the frequently forgotten issue of violence and abuse against women and girls in the criminal justice system.