The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Elementa DDHH, A.C., Plataforma NNAPES, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), EQUIS Justicia para las Mujeres, Centro de estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad (Dejusticia) and the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) elaborated a series of observations and recommendations for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The document intends to strengthen the development and the use of the interamerican standards on gender perspective for trans and cis women in the different phases of their pregnancy and maternity and to protect the rights of the children being raised in prison.
The request for an advisory opinion from the Inter-American Court seeks to achieve a joint interpretation of several norms of the Inter-American Human Rights System on the differentiated obligations related to the principle of equality and non-discrimination in prison contexts, in order to confront the real inequality of groups at special risk.
The document presented by the organizations stresses the importance of using adequate language, and identifying and integrating international standards, principles and documents with the Inter-American System. Moreover, the report takes into account the regional context of each demographic and highlights the States’ specific obligations in terms of differentiated treatment to guarantee the respect of every group’s rights.
We recommend that the Inter-American Court establish the following standards for the States:
- The obligation to prevent and sanction any violation of the human rights of women during their pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, of trans women who are deprived of liberty and of the children living in prison with their mothers. To achieve this, the States must develop information systems that include gender perspective differentiated treatments. These systems must be openly accessible to the public and must allow monitoring by civil society.
- They must guarantee access to the right to healthcare for pregnant women, and ensure that health services before, during and after childbirth are adequate to their needs; as well as guaranteeing access to water and ideal conditions in terms of accommodation and decent food.
- Respect their obligations regarding trans women deprived of liberty, particularly those that encompass the respect for their identity and human dignity. Trans women should not be subjected to discriminatory treatment, which implies that they should not be forced to wear clothes that do not correspond to their identity or be denied access to a medical treatment appropriate to their condition and their differentiated needs.
- With regard to children living in prisons with their mothers, we recall the obligation of States to respect the distinction between the imprisonment of the mother and the prevailing rights of children. Therefore, States are obliged to promote children’s contact with the outside world in terms of contact with their family and access to fundamental rights, such as health, education, cultural activities and recreation.
We reiterate our commitment to promote respect for the dignity and rights of all persons in prison contexts, as well as the need for prison systems to respect the particular conditions of persons deprived of liberty.
Joint press release:
The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Elementa DDHH, A.C., Plataforma NNAPES, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), EQUIS Justicia para las Mujeres, Centro de estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad (Dejusticia) and the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS)