TIJ pushing 'Bangkok Rules' to aid women inmates
The Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) is gearing up to help promote Bangkok Rules, designed to encourage gender-sensitive treatment of women and girls behind bars.
TIJ director Kittipong Kittayarak said the institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Corrections Department and Cambodian authorities to provide guidance in putting the Bangkok Rules into practice.
The Bangkok Rules, formally known as the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders, were adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2010.
They were created because prisons are designed with the majority male prison population in mind.
They are intended to guide parties, from policy-makers to prison authorities, on ways to reduce the number of women in prison and meet the specific needs of women in cases of imprisonment.
Mr Kittipong said the CC2 facility in Phnom Penh has been selected for the implementation of the "model prison" project to lift standards and cater to the needs of women in jail, in compliance with the Bangkok Rules.
CC2, which is Cambodia's largest facility for female offenders, has a population of 2,443 inmates.
He said the agreement with Cambodia is meant to ensure gender-sensitive treatment of female offenders and children after the latest report by Penal Reform International (PRI) found the number of female and child prisoners had risen by 53% globally.
"The project aims to build a cross-border partnership for better treatment of female prisoners whose needs might be ignored and might not be properly addressed by most prisons," he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin stressed the importance of the community's role in offender rehabilitation, and the role played by volunteer probation staff in achieving that aim.
He said the probation system should be strengthened to make it an effective alternative to incarceration where possible.