United Nations Report on Violence against Women in U.S. Prisons

Joanne Archibald

in Interrupted Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520252493
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944565 | DOI:
United Nations Report on Violence against Women in U.S. Prisons

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The report presented here was prepared in 1999 for the United Nations Human Rights Commission as part of an investigation of human rights violations around the world. The special investigator for violence against women, Radhika Coomaraswany, a lawyer from Sri Lanka, visited state and federal prisons in six U.S. states and the District of Columbia, taking testimony from many incarcerated women and prison employees. Coomaraswany's report highlights the fact that incarcerated women in the United States are disproportionately poor and black and many of them are there because they were unwittingly involved in drug trafficking. It also describes the unacceptable use of shackles on refugees and asylum seekers at the airport and on women in labor. The report calls for minimum standards of treatment to conform with U.S. obligations under international human rights treaties.

Keywords: United Nations Human Rights Commission; human rights violations; incarcerated women; Radhika Coomaraswany; United States; drug trafficking; shackles; refugees; asylum seekers; women in labor

Chapter.  5180 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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