Oral statement of the International Federation of ACATs (FIACAT)

Item 3 – Interactive dialogue with the Working group on arbitrary detention

48th session of the Human Rights Council

20th September 2021

Thank you Madam President,

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

FIACAT thanks you for your report and particularly appreciates your deliberation n°12 on Women deprived of their liberty.

Through its work in the field with its members, FIACAT agrees with several of your observations.

Although they represent a small proportion of the prison population, women in detention are particularly vulnerable and special attention must be paid to them. Indeed, once sentenced to a prison sentence or the death penalty, women are subjected to discriminatory treatment since most establishments were designed to accommodate men and therefore do not meet the gender-specific needs of women. In particular, they have little access to health and hygiene care and are often faced with prison officers who have not been trained in their specific needs.

Furthermore, upon their release, they are often economically and socially marginalised. The family rupture with their children and the rest of their community has an impact on a whole social group and has disastrous consequences on the relatives of women detainees. As a result, women who are labelled as delinquents find it more difficult to reintegrate socially and economically. This is exacerbated by the fact that in many countries they have little access to education, training and reintegration activities due to their limited numbers.

It is therefore essential that Member States take into account in practice the specific needs and realities of women detainees in accordance with the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders and the guidance you have provided in your deliberation.

Thank you for your attention.