E-NEWS - 2010

JDI Speaks Out Against Torture

March 1, 2010 -

All people have a fundamental human right to be free from torture, including sexual abuse in detention. This right is recognized by international accords that the United States has ratified, such as the Convention Against Torture. Despite such legally binding protections, it is a sad fact that prisons, jails, and other types of detention facilities across the country fail to keep their detainees safe.

Last Friday, the State Department, along with other federal agencies, convened a full-day meeting in New York City about the federal government's fulfillment of international treaty obligations. This consultation was held to assist the Obama Administration in preparing a report for the Universal Periodic Review, a new United Nations process that assesses the human rights records of member nations every four years.

JDI testified at last Friday's meeting, highlighting the government's failure to meet its obligation to address sexual violence behind bars. Notably, JDI urged the Obama Administration to improve its protections of inmates by signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and by adopting the full national standards aimed at ending sexual abuse in detention, as recommended by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.

To read JDI's testimony, click here.

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