COPCAT Shorts – Prohibition of Torture in the Context of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is perpetrated every day against millions of children, women and men worldwide. It is experienced by all generations, nationalities, cultures and religions and on all socioeconomic and educational levels of society. It constitutes a major obstacle to the universal fulfilment of human rights and to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and it severely damages the physical, sexual, emotional, mental and social well-being of innumerable individuals and families, often leaving lasting trauma not only on its direct victims but also within entire communities. For countless people, it makes the home a place of danger, humiliation and untold harm, rather than a place of refuge, trust and protection.

In the light of these observations, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is of the view that domestic violence cannot be regarded as a private matter, but constitutes a major human rights issue of inherently public concern that requires examination, inter alia, from the perspective of the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment. Building on the work of his predecessors and other mechanisms, the Special Rapporteur conducted extensive research and broad stakeholder consultations with experts, government representatives, international organizations and civil society organizations, including through a general call for submissions in response to a thematic questionnaire posted on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The present report reflects the resulting observations, conclusions and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur.”

UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Relevance of the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the context of domestic violence (UN Doc. A/74/148, 12 July 2019) §1 and 4.


Read the UN Special Rapporteur’s report here.

Explore what the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women stated about domestic violence in Canada following the 2018 mission to the country in July 2019 report.

See what the UN Committee against Torture said about gender-based violence in Canada in its Concluding Observations from December 2018.

Read the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada and its focus on multiple forms of gender-based violence.

Posted by mp in Domestic violence, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Violence Against Women

New Publication – Preventing and Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Places of Deprivation of Liberty

Fresh off their Warsaw printing presses OSCE-ODIHR has published yet another very welcome practical resource, this time on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in places of detention.

On 9 August 2019 the inter-governmental organization released the publication, Preventing and Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Places of Deprivation of Liberty: Standards, Approaches and Examples from the OSCE Region, which – at 170 pages or so in length – tackles this highly topical issue in considerable detail. More importantly, the publication is highly practical and usable too.

As one of the OSCE’s 57 participating States (although this fact is sometimes seemingly forgotten in Canada) the publication has direct relevance in the Canadian context.

The official OSCE-ODIHR description accompanying this new resource reads as follows:

The purpose of this publication is to improve the understanding of sexual and gender-based violence on the part of state actors and civil society, including an understanding of how such violence manifests in places of deprivation of liberty. It also identifies many of the factors that increase the vulnerability of persons deprived of their liberty and aims to contribute to the reduction and eventual elimination of sexual and gender-based violence in places of deprivation of liberty. The publication is primarily intended for policymakers, lawmakers and practitioners from criminal justice systems, including lawyers, prosecutors, judges and anyone else involved in arresting, investigating, interrogating or detaining suspects, those accused of a crime and prisoners or detainees.”

In this respect, the new publication complements very well a number of existing detention related guides currently available to detention monitors, human rights activists and criminal justice practitioners. The APT’s 2018 publication Towards the Effective Protection of LGBTI Persons Deprived of Liberty: A Monitoring Guide springs immediately to mind, which was also featured on this website.

OSCE-ODIHR’s brand-new contribution to the wider literature comprises some seven individual sections, as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Core concepts
  • Background: What do we know about sexual and gender-based violence in places of deprivation of liberty?
  • Risk and needs assessments
  • Reducing risk in specific situations
  • Other measures to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence
  • Conclusion

Three annexes complement the main body of text, highlighting key recommendations drawn from the publication as well as providing a very useful checklist for monitoring visits on sexual and gender-based violence in places of deprivation of liberty.

Solitary confinement
Solitary Confinement by garshna (2013).

The many specific country examples and ECtHR case-law excerpts also very much bring the document alive, adding colour to it and making it highly accessible to the reader. In short, the numerous country examples give the reader much to think about and draw on in their own national contexts.

The publication concludes as follows:

Sexual and gender-based violence in places of deprivation of liberty is preventable and should never be tolerated. This publication has sought to dig deep into this human rights violation and has demonstrated the need to raise awareness of its pervasiveness, enhance research and implement measures for its prevention

The recommendations in this publication serve as guidance for actions to be undertaken to step up OSCE participating States’ monitoring and reporting efforts in relation to SGBV. They should also help them to develop comprehensive methods for upholding human rights by creating appropriate safeguards.

This publication serves as a first step towards more detailed guidance and tools on the topic for practitioners, including both state authorities and non-governmental organizations. ODIHR will continue to raise awareness of this topic, in line with its mandate, and provide support to OSCE participating States willing to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence in places of deprivation of liberty.”

In a word, once again OSCE-ODIHR has made an invaluable contribution to the wider human rights literature on the topic of deprivation of liberty, providing a highly practical guide on what can be done on the ground to counter sexual and gender-based violence in detention.


Download Preventing and Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Places of Deprivation of Liberty: Standards, Approaches and Examples from the OSCE Region in English.

Explore the APT’s Towards the Effective Protection of LGBTI Persons Deprived of Liberty: A Monitoring Guide.

Read other detention related resources here.

Read an overview of two recent UN publications on women in detention, including in Canada.

Posted by mp in Places of detention, Publication, Torture prevention, Women prisoners

COPCAT Shorts – Help Wanted: The CPT seeks Experts

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is looking to expand its pool of independent experts. This eminent Council of Europe detention monitoring body, comprising representatives of its 47 Member States, is seeking to bolster its internal expertise by drawing on external knowledge and skills in the form of independent experts.

CPT Open Call for Expressions of Interest for Experts press release image – copyright Council of Europe (2019).
European anti-torture

In a press release from 26 July 2019 the CPT stated the following:

The CPT is looking for Experts with recognised competence in one or more of the following fields of activities, preferably with proven experience in visiting places of deprivation of liberty:

Police matters: law enforcement official, specialised judge, prosecutor or other professional with proven experience in the investigation of cases of police ill-treatment/misconduct, academic specialised in police matters, etc.;

Prison issues: academic specialised in prison matters, prison governor, prison officer, specialised judge, prosecutor or other professional supervising prisons, etc.;

Immigration detention: academic or specialised judge or other legal professional dealing with asylum/immigration issues, head of an immigration detention centre, etc.;

Juvenile detention: academic or specialised judge or other legal professional in child-related issues, director or staff member of a juvenile institution, etc.;

Health-care issues: health-care professional (such as a general practitioner, prison doctor, forensic doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or nurse) with extensive experience in providing health care to persons held in police custody, immigration detention, prisons, psychiatric hospitals or social care institutions, etc.

Human rights experts with experience in working with a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) established under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

Interested experts are invited to submit applications by 16 September 2019. An application file can be obtained by e-mail from: DGI-CPT@coe.int

Canada, clearly not a Member State of the Council of Europe, is, however, one of six states which have ‘observer’ status before the organization.

Articles 7(2), 13 and 14 of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment outline the roles and functions of such independent experts.

There is no stipulation in the Convention that the independent experts should bear the nationality of a Member State of the Council of Europe. Moreover, no mention of nationality is made in the CPT’s Rules of Procedure.

In a word, there does not seem to be any provision in these texts barring Canadians from applying to the above call for expressions of interest.

In a nutshell, good luck Canadians! And Australians, Armenians, Georgians, Ivorians…


Find out more about the CPT here in English and French.

Learn more about key CPT resources.

Read the full call for expressions of interest in English.

Read the full call for expressions of interest in French.

Posted by mp in Oversight bodies, Places of detention

Happy Birthday to Us! The Canada OPCAT Project at One Year Old

Acutely inspired by successive Canadian government pledges over a 12-year period to ratify the OPCAT, while doing precious little about it in practice, the Canada OPCAT Project entered this fine world during the final week of July 2018.

Created on a shoestring budget of 120 Canadian dollars, albeit with much elbow-grease, the Canada OPCAT Project came into being with the aim of throwing light on Canada’s domestic OPCAT ratification process.

Some 90 or so posts and eight website sections later, we remain a very small, but hopefully somewhat useful somebody on Canada’s wider human rights landscape.

1st Birthday Cake Face by Suzanne Schroeter (2014).

The highly respected international NGO, Penal Reform International, was the unwitting victim of our very first test post, while over the past 12 months many other organizations and individuals broadly engaged in torture prevention have had their superb work and sterling efforts featured on the website.

Against all good web-development advice (and probably good common sense), the website was built live, piece-by-piece, with various sections slowly being added. Over the past year, an ever great number of posts have since been thrown into the ether on all manner of issues with an OPCAT and/or torture prevention slant.

In truth, with no heavy bureaucracy, we can post whatever related human rights content we wish, such is the utility and flexibility of the site.

Yet if the aim of the website was to cast light on Canadian government activities aimed at ratifying the OPCAT, then unhappily dear readers, there has been very little progress to report on this front over the past year. At least from the side of Canadian government.

A comprehensive Justice Canada-led legal analysis of how to possibly implement the OPCAT in Canada remains classified and is unlikely ever to see the light of day.

Most regrettably, the Canadian OPCAT consultation process remains entirely closed to civil society at the present moment and there is nothing to indicate that this unacceptable state of affairs will change one jot in the near future.

For the record it should be underscored that this status quo is contrary to all international best practice-related advice and guidance, including by the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. This key point has been repeatedly made in these corridors.

The reality is such that federal, provincial and territorial governments will continue to quietly confer among themselves behind closed doors on this key human rights issue and that Canadian civil society will only be asked its opinion on this question at the very last moment – once the decision to ratify the OPCAT and the shape and structure of the future NPM have been largely determined.

If there were ever a completely closed and opaque OPCAT ratification process, then one need look no further than Canada.

That being so, casting such pessimism aside for an instant, the past year has also brought with it certain welcome developments.

In September 2018 the Canadian government responded to its May 2018 Universal Periodic Review by stating before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that it would consider the ratification of the instrument. It bears noting that during this UPR process some 27 different countries advanced recommendations that Canada should either ratify the OPCAT or consider its ratification.

On an equally welcome note, in December 2018, the UN Committee against Torture urged that Canada should complete the OPCAT ratification process and, in so doing, consult with Canadian civil society.

The key recommendation that Canada should ratify the OPCAT has also repeatedly been highlighted by different UN special procedures, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities during her 11-day April 2019 mission to Canada.

In June 2019, in her final report of her mission to Canada the previous year, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women advanced a similar recommendation.

Despite such welcome recommendations, what is clearly lacking in Canada is tangible progress on the ground to make such recommendations a reality and, equally as importantly, to include Canadian civil society in the process.

As to the future, what lies in store over the next year remains to be seen, of course. It would be comforting to forecast with certainty that the OPCAT would be signed or ratified within the next 12 months. Sadly, this outcome remains extremely unlikely.

No matter, having just coughed up 200 Canadian dollars in website hosting fees and for domain name rental for the year ahead, readers may be pleased to learn that the Canada OPCAT Project is set to remain in place for at least the next 12 months and it will continue to train its beady eye on domestic OPCAT developments.

It goes without saying that the Canada OPCAT Project remains extremely grateful to its many readers from both near and afar (in Canada and abroad) who have continued to encourage and support the work of the website and who have provided us with super-useful information and lent us their wise advice and many talents on the basis of nothing more than their kindness. Who could ask for more?

Please visit us again soon, dear readers!


Read the Canada OPCAT Project report, Instituting an NPM in Canada.

How is Canada faring against other countries OPCAT-wise? Read on.

Posted by mp in OPCAT, Ratification, SPT

If the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture ever came to visit Canada…

This past week or so the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture publicly stated that it would visit Australia, as one of six countries which the UN Subcommittee will visit in the coming months.

In a statement released on 1 July 2019 the UN SPT announced that Australia, Croatia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Nauru and Paraguay would comprise its future country visits.

challenge ahead
Prisons by -JvL- 2012

Like all current 90 States Parties to the OPCAT, Australia agreed to permit visits by this international body of 25 torture-prevention experts, after it ratified the instrument in December 2017.

Australia is also presently in the process of instituting a National Preventive Mechanism.

But what if Canada had also ratified the instrument? What might happen during a UN Subcommittee country visit? Where would it visit and with whom would it engage?

On 9 July the UN Subcommittee Chairperson, Professor Sir Malcolm Evans, was interviewed on Australia’s Radio National (RN) to explain the scope and form of such a country visit.

Listen to RN radio host Hamish Macdonald’s interview the UN SPT Chairperson, Professor Malcolm Evans, on the ins-and-outs of such a visit.


Read more about Australia’s path to OPCAT ratification.

Learn more about the role of civil society in the ratification process.

Read other recent academic articles on the implementation of the instrument in Australia.


Many thanks to Josef Szwarc for the above information.

Posted by mp in Australia, UN Subcommittee

COPCAT Shorts – Canada Sponsors UN General Assembly Resolution on Torture-Free Trade

“Taking note of the launching of the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade,

1. Requests the Secretary-General, with the provisions of resolution 72/163 in mind, to seek the views of Member States on the feasibility and possible scope of a range of options to establish common international standards for the import, export and transfer of goods used for (a) capital punishment, (b) torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to submit a report on the subject to the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session;

2. Also requests the Secretary-General, on the basis of his report to be submitted to the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session, to establish a group of governmental experts, to be chosen on the basis of equitable geographical distribution and guided by the need to appoint individuals reflecting the highest standards of efficiency, competence in the fields of human rights and/or international trade, and integrity, to examine, commencing in 2020, the feasibility, scope of the goods to be included and draft parameters for a range of options to establish common international standards on the matter and to transmit the report of the group of experts to the Assembly for consideration at its seventy-fifth session…

The United Nations ‘Knotted Gun’ by JasonParis (2011).

UN General Resolution ‘Towards torture-free trade: examining the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards’ (UN Doc. A/73/L.94), adopted by the UN General Assembly on 28 June 2019 (emphasis added above).


It was most encouraging that during this week’s UN General Assembly vote on the possibility of bringing into being an international standard on torture-free trade, Canada was one among 51 UN Member States to sponsor the draft UN Resolution on this pressing issue, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in New York on 28 June 2019. The adoption of this key UN Resolution paves the way for the creation of a group of experts to examine the feasibility and scope of such a possible future international standard on torture-free trade.

Canada’s sponsoring of the UN Resolution comes as a very welcome move, more so just two days after the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June. It can only be hoped that Canada will continue to put its political weight behind this long overdue initiative in the months and years ahead. And ratify the OPCAT of course…   


Read the UN General Resolution on torture-free trade.

Read the accompanying UN press release.

Learn more about the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade.

Read more about the Omega Research Foundation’s work on trade in the ‘tools of torture’.

Explore the key related publication Monitoring Weapons and Restraints in Places of Detention: A Practical Guide for Detention Monitors. 

Posted by mp in Absolute prohibition of torture, Torture prevention, Torture-free trade

New Reports – Women Deprived of Liberty

“In the present report, the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice analyses the causes of deprivation of liberty of women from a gender perspective to provide an understanding of the ways in which women are uniquely and disproportionately affected by deprivation of liberty, owing to structural discrimination throughout their life cycle. While deprivation of women’s liberty manifests differently in different contexts, there are common underlying causes: the persistence of patriarchal systems which shape gender stereotypes and forms of discrimination that normalize them. The report contains recommendations to support States in developing and implementing comprehensive measures that are aimed at legal, institutional, social and cultural transformation.”

Women deprived of liberty – Report of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice (UN Doc. A/HRC/41/33, 15 May 2019).

This highly welcome recent UN report examines the various factors which result in women being deprived of their liberty, not least poverty and marginalization. In the Canadian context imprisonment for crimes related to poverty remains a clear factor for the incarceration of women.

Moreover, as argued in the report, poverty shapes not only the crimes of which women are accused, but also their interactions with the criminal justice system, which also have an effect on the likelihood of their incarceration and its length.  

As is also widely recognized, once convicted and incarcerated, women often have less access than men to rehabilitation and reintegration services, owing to a scarcity of gender-responsive custodial services designed for women inmates. This reality can lead to worse outcomes upon release, increasing the risk of recidivism and possibly leaving women in a cycle of incarceration.

The UN Working Group report identifies other key factors resulting in the deprivation of liberty of women globally, including discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes as well as women’s exposure to violence and conflict.

UN violence against women expert
Dubravka Simonovic, Special Rapporteur on violence against women present his report at the 38th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council. 20 June 2018. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

For an international perspective specifically on women in detention in Canada the newly published report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women on her April 2018 mission to Canada also merits a closer read.

The report calls on Canada to implement a whole range of important measures in relation to the treatment and conditions of women in detention, including, notably, Indigenous women.

Significantly, the Special Rapporteur urges Canada to ratify the OPCAT as well as to fully implement the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the UN Bangkok Rules.

In her report the UN Special Rapporteur focuses on an array of other issues within her mandate, including domestic violence, sexual assault of women and girls, trafficking, online violence and harassment, forced sterilization, and women who encounter multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence, specifically Indigenous women and girls.

The reports of the UN Working Group and UN Special Rapporteur are available for download.


Read more about the activities of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.

Explore the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women.

Read more about Indigenous women in Canada’s prison system.

Read ‘The OPCAT – A Stuck Record?’ on Canada’s prolonged OPCAT ratification process.

Read the Canadian Correctional Investigator’s view on why Canada should ratify the OPCAT.

Posted by mp in Indigenous people, OPCAT, UN Special Rapporteur, Women prisoners

An OPCAT Women’s World Cup 2019?

With heightened anticipation FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 has finally kicked off in beautiful France. While our Canadian heroines have yet to kick a ball, Canada’s hopes and dreams are sky high. But will this be the tournament when the Canadian women’s national side finally fulfils its chock-a-block potential?

The high expectancy that Canadian national icon Christine Sinclair may succeed in surpassing Abby Wambach’s superbly impressive world-record tally of an amazing 184 goals will cause many a breath to be held. Just four goals short of this record, the Burnaby, B.C. native has every chance of making footballing history in the weeks to come in France.

Christine Sinclair’s red & white army by Matt Boulton (2012).

As a point of comparison, the men’s international football record is currently held by Iranian Ali Daei with 109 goals, while modern-day football idol (for some at least) Cristiano Ronaldo trails a colossal 99 goals behind Abby Wambach’s current record for women on a ‘mere’ 85 goals.

Our fixation with this record aside, the Canadian women’s squad finds itself corralled in Group E with Cameroon, New Zealand and the Netherlands. While not quite the tournament’s Group of Death, Canada will still have to make more than just a half-decent effort to progress further, starting in Montpellier on Monday evening (10 June) against Cameroon. Thereafter, New Zealand and the Netherlands will undoubtedly prove to be no push-overs.

Christine Sinclair (Trending Twitter Topics from 01.02.2019)

Yet what also strikes this writer about Group E – perhaps somewhat oddly – is that all the footballing nations in the pool have either signed or ratified the OPCAT. Bar Canada, that is.

Cameroon signed the instrument almost a decade ago, while New Zealand and the Netherlands ratified the OPCAT respectively in 2007 and 2010.  

Of all six World Cup 2019 clusters, Group F fares the worst with a 50% OPCAT ratification rate (Chile and Sweden have ratified the instrument, while USA and Thailand have not). In all of the other five groups, at least three of the four footballing nations have either signed or ratified the OPCAT.

In addition to Canada, other ‘OPCAT relegation’ sides include the Republic of Korea (in Group A), China (in Group B), Jamaica (in Group C), Japan (in Group D), and, as previously noted, USA and Thailand (in Group F). Readers can find a full list here.   

What does all this mean? In footballing terms, precious little of course. Yet in human rights terms these statistics are extremely illuminating of how much progress has been made in recent years to advance a crucially important international torture prevention instrument as well as, regrettably, the lamentable extent to which Canada has fallen behind the international pace.

In view of the publication earlier this week of the highly damning Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place, and its multiple Calls for Justice in relation to law enforcement and prisons and the treatment of Indigenous women and girls, the swift ratification of OPCAT should be at the forefront of the Canadian Government’s mind.  

No matter, let us hope that there is greater progress on the football fields of France in the weeks ahead than has been with the goal of OPCAT ratification and that the Canadian national women’s side succeeds in rising together to attain much-deserved and long-overdue glory.

The Canada OPCAT Project will be closely following their progress and wishes the team the very best of luck.


Meet the Canadian women’s football squad.

Read Louise Taylor’s new feature in the 8 June edition of the Guardian newspaper, From pink goalposts to blue plaques: a history of women’s football.

Read The OPCAT – A Stuck Record? on Canada’s lack of progress vis-à-vis OPCAT.

Discover how the OPCAT might be implemented in Canada in the 2019 paper, ‘Instituting A National Preventive Mechanism In Canada – Lessons Based on Global OPCAT Implementation’. 

Posted by mp in OPCAT, Ratification

New Publication – Implementation of the Bangkok Rules

Hot off the presses of the world-renowned international NGO, Penal Reform International, and its partner, Thailand Institute of Justice, comes another key resource aimed at supporting actors implement the UN Bangkok Rules.

This brand new practical resource, Guide to the rehabilitation and social reintegration of women prisoners: Implementation of the Bangkok Rules aptly complements PRI’s other publications which comprise its excellent UN Bangkok Rules Toolbox (as also highlighted in these pages under Other Resources). According to the authors of the new publication:

“Women and girls are a minority within prison systems, making up just 6.9 per of the global prison population. As a result, their specific needs and characteristics have tended to remain unacknowledged and unaddressed. Women continue to face particularly acute challenges and barriers in accessing programmes and services in prison, and there are often limited rehabilitation opportunities available to them.”

In the Canadian context, the Office of the Correctional Investigator has documented such challenges and barriers in its past Annual Reports. Similarly, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women echoed related concerns during its 2016 examination of Canada in Geneva, Switzerland.  

The authors have underpinned the utility of this guide on the implementation of the UN Bangkok Rules in the following terms:

“This new tool, developed in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice, is designed for use by prison management, staff, policymakers and others involved in the criminal justice process, including legislators, judges and law enforcement officials. It aims to provide practical guidance on improving existing rehabilitation programmes and services and designing new ones, looking at different country contexts and taking into account location-specific challenges and opportunities.”

“This guide summarises the importance of good prisoner rehabilitation and social reintegration programmes and identifies the main barriers to successful rehabilitation, including the particular barriers faced by female prisoners and by specific groups of female prisoners such as girls, foreign nationals and women from ethnic minority groups. Identifying these barriers provides an insight into why additional efforts are needed to assist the rehabilitation of women offenders.”

Beyond the above users, Canadian detention monitors and human rights actors could equally employ this resource as a helpful reference point for gauging strong or weak domestic penal practice in the domain of the rehabilitation and social integration of women prisoners.

Similarly, in countries which have ratified the OPCAT (not to-date Canada), NPMs might also resort to the guide as a useful tool in assessing practice in this respect.

The thrust of this tool, found in part 2 titled Guidance, is especially relevant, comprising some four main sections, as follows:

  • Baseline for successful rehabilitation;
  • Education, vocational training and work;
  • Preparation for release and post-release support;
  • And rehabilitation programmes for specific groups.

As we human beings come in different shapes and sizes, the latter focus is sensitive to the needs of different types of prisoners. As such, this section centres on the rehabilitation needs of diverse groups including girls, pregnant women and women with children, foreign nationals, racial and ethnic minorities and Indigenous prisoners, prisoners with different mental and physical healthcare needs, LGBTI prisoners, as well as older prisoners.

barring freedom by meesh 2012

The publication concludes with a useful list of 10 key principles for gender-sensitive rehabilitation programmes, which in itself could act as a practical yardstick for Canadian detention monitors and penal reformers.

In a nutshell, the Guide to the rehabilitation and social reintegration of women prisoners: Implementation of the Bangkok Rules makes a valuable contribution to PRI’s myriad of other excellent resources on the subject as well as the wider implementation of the Bangkok Rules, which will be useful for human rights actors, penal reformers and detention monitors alike.  


Download the new publication, Guide to the rehabilitation and social reintegration of women prisoners: Implementation of the Bangkok Rules.

Read PRI/OSCE-ODIHR’s 2018 publication, Guidance Document on the Nelson Mandela Rules.

Learn more about how the incarceration of Indigenous Canada in PRI’s Global Prison Trends 2019.

Explore PRI’s other key resources, including on this website.

Learn more about the work of the Thailand Institute of Justice.

Posted by mp in Publication, Tools, Women prisoners

Introducing… OPCAT Academics

Regular visitors to the Canada OPCAT Project website will be aware that in recent weeks the website has highlighted an ever greater number of articles under the ‘Academic News & Views’ rubric. As the heading suggests, the aim of the post series is to highlight journal articles with a more academic slant on all things OPCAT/torture prevention. In order to make life somewhat easier for visitors to the website, we have corralled them together in a new OPCAT Academics section.

Academics by Ron Mader (2019).

If you have written any materials on the broad subject of torture prevention with an academic twist, please do let us know. The aim of the post series is not to critically review articles, but more to offer a quick overview of their content and publicize them among our ever increasing readership.

Thus, whether you are freshly starting out on your academic path or running a busy, well heeled university law or politics department, we would be delighted to hear from you.  

Consult the OPCAT Academics section here.

Posted by mp in Academic, OPCAT, Torture prevention