Lusaka Central women's prison, ZambiaThroughout 2013 I led research missions into prisons and prison communities in Zambia, Jordan, the Philippines and Albania, for DIGNITY – the Danish Institute Against Torture, and remotely managed research in Guatemala. I’ll present this in a qualitative study, due to be launched in the margins of the Human Rights Council summer session 2014, along with a high level panel discussion.

The study includes a desk review of UN standards on women in detention (particularly the Bangkok Rules) as well as their their treatment – or lack thereof – by UN treaty bodies. Its primary focus however, is what matters most to the women themselves. The interview methodology combines both a human rights-based and ethnographic approach.

This is the first in a series by Dignity on vulnerable groups in detention – with the aim of enhancing their protection by national authorities, and the monitoring of their conditions by independent bodies.

Find out more about the project from DIGNITY‘s website, or find my latest commentary (and photography) in this area – on best practices in an Albanian women’s prison on this site, the DIGNITY site, or Open Democracy.