The Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men congratulates the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee on the excellent report it has drawn up and fully supports the draft resolution tabled.
The committee wishes to make only a small number of amendments to further strengthen the draft resolution, and take up some additional points made in Ms Cliveti’s explanatory memorandum.
Add the following paragraph after paragraph 1: “Because of the relatively small number of women prisoners and women on remand there are fewer prisons which hold women and even fewer places for women in pre-trial detention. This means that women are held further away from home, cutting family ties. In fact, in some European countries, there is only one single-sex women’s prison, meaning that women prisoners may be placed a long way from their homes and families. This makes it all the more important that efforts are made by the authorities to alleviate the impact of imprisonment on the family life of women prisoners.”
Add at the end of paragraph 5: “, in particular for non-violent crimes”.
Add the following paragraph after paragraph 5:
“The Assembly considers that the reform of prisons and criminal justice policies is necessary to ensure a more humane and effective application of justice for women. In particular, detention on remand and custodial sentences should be avoided whenever possible for girls under 18 years of age.”
Add the following sub-paragraph after sub-paragraph 8.2:
“ensure that physical restraints are only used on female prisoners as a last resort, when there are compelling reasons for believing that they are dangerous or likely to abscond, and no other means of meeting security needs can be found; this provision should, in particular, apply to women in labour, during transport to hospital, and during or immediately after delivery;”.
The explanatory memorandum drawn up by Ms Cliveti is so complete that there is nothing to add. I can only congratulate the rapporteur on her excellent report.
Reporting committee: Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee.
Committee seized for opinion: Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.
Reference to committee: Doc. 10900 and Reference No. 3248 of 30 June 2006.
Opinion adopted by the committee on 24 June 2008.