Timeline

Women in Prison

Promoting recognition of the rights and needs of women in detention, primarily through implementation of the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules).
August 2014

A new Human Rights and Refugees Representative at QUNO Geneva

In February, Rachel Brett who has been Representative, Human Rights and Refugees (HRR) at QUNO Geneva since 1993 announced her plan to retire.  After an international selection process, Laurel Townhead has been appointed to this position from 18 August; we extend a warm welcome to Laurel. Laurel obtained her Master's degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex in 2003. She has experience, among other issues, of work on women in prison, children of prisoners, conscientious objection to military service and support to asylum seekers.

May 2014

Revision of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

The UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners (SMRs) are the reference for national authorities on how prisoners should be treated. However, they were adopted in the 1950s and, though good, need updating. In our work, QUNO has identified a need for reviewing the SMRs, and supports the ongoing process for revision. Since the adoption of the SMRs, new standards relating to the treatment of prisoners have been developed, including relevant human rights treaties.

May 2014

UN Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice: Side-event on the wider impacts of the death penalty

In May, QUNO attended the annual UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in Vienna with other representatives from the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers). At the CCPCJ, FWCC co-sponsored a side-event with Amnesty International and Penal Reform International on the wider impacts of the death penalty. Rachel Brett drew attention specifically to the children of parents who have been sentenced to the death penalty. 

March 2014

Judge quotes QUNO’s work in British Columbia Supreme Court judgement, Inglis v. British Columbia

In December, The Supreme Court in British Columbia, Canada, overturned a decision to close the mother and baby unit at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, on the grounds that it violated the rights of both the mothers and the babies. In the judgement, Justice Ross quoted QUNO’s publication Collateral Convicts, by Oliver Robertson. In addition, one of the experts cited the Kyiv Declaration on Women’s Health in Prison, in which QUNO and other Friends were involved.