GENEVA / GENDER TORTURE

09-Mar-2016 00:03:07
A new UN report on torture states that gender stereotypes still cause to downplay the suffering of women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / GENDER TORTURE
TRT: 03:09
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 9 MARCH 2016 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Aerial shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture:
“The main findings of the report is that the international legal framework on conditions of detention and prohibition of torture and also the domestic legal frameworks in many countries don’t really take into account the specific needs of women, of girls and of LGBTI persons, because the prisons are designed for men mostly”.
4. Wide shot, meeting room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture:
”I think it is high time that domestic regulations, but also international law, start considering the special needs of these categories of people when they get in conflict with the law and are incarcerated. In the case of women in particular, they comprise an average of 2 to 9 percent to the population of prisons, but 80 % of them are mothers. And their needs for them and for their children to be together, is not always taken into account. By the same token, healthcare doesn’t take into account the specific hygienic needs of women for example. So that’s the kind of things we are urging states to pay more attention to.”
6. Med shot, camera viewfinder
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture:
”What we see is if there is any accountability for mistreatment in jail of women, girls and LGBTI persons it is mostly considered cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment when some of those are intentional and are severe and they all should more properly be labelled and treated as torture”.
8. Wide shot, meeting room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture:
”Refugees have to be assessed as to whether they are entitled to refugee status or not and then they can be sent back. But the principal in the Convention against Torture applies even to non-refugees or to people who don’t qualify as asylum seekers or refugees, for example because they persecuted others. The prohibition is more absolute, because nobody can be sent back to any place where he or she could be tortured. I am afraid that if there is no regular process by which people are screened and conditions in Syria assessed, that many people who would be send back under this agreement would actually be tortured or at risk of torture and that would be a violation of international law.”
10. Close up, Juan E. Mendez
11. Wide shot, shadow on UN logo
12. Med shot, Juan E. Mendez
STORYLINE
A new report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture states that gender stereotypes still cause to downplay the suffering of women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

In his presentation to the media today (9 Mar) in Geneva, Juan E. Mendez said that “the main findings of the report is that the international legal framework on conditions of detention and prohibition of torture and also the domestic legal frameworks in many countries don’t really take into account the specific needs of women, of girls and of LGBTI persons, because the prisons are designed for men mostly.”

In his report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur looked at gender based violence through the prism of the Convention against Torture.

Mendez pointed to the clear link between the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the violence and stigma these groups face. At least 76 countries have laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relationships between adults. “States are complicit in the violence women and LGBT groups face if they implement discriminatory laws that trap these people in a spiral of abuse,” he stressed.

In prisons, he noted, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender detainees report higher rates of violence than the general population. ”I think it is high time that domestic regulations, but also international law, start considering the special needs of these categories of people when they get in conflict with the law and are incarcerated. In the case of women in particular, they comprise an average of 2 to 9 percent to the population of prisons, but 80 percent of them are mothers,” he said, adding that the needs for them and their children to be together is not always taken into account, adding that “ healthcare doesn’t take into account the specific hygienic needs of women for example. So that’s the kind of things we are urging states to pay more attention to.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture also pointed out that ”what we see is if there is any accountability for mistreatment in jail of women, girls and LGBTI persons, it is mostly considered cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment when some of those are intentional and are severe and they all should more properly be labeled and treated as torture.”

According to Mendez, societal indifference, discriminatory laws and attitudes and a culture of impunity also exacerbates problems like domestic violence which is far more prevalent. It is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced domestic violence of various kinds.

He also expressed concern regarding the latest deal between the European Union and Turkey to deport Syrian refugees. ”Refugees have to be assessed as to whether they are entitled to refugee status or not and then they can be sent back. But the principal in the Convention against Torture applies even to non-refugees or to people who don’t qualify as asylum seekers or refugees, for example because they persecuted others. The prohibition is more absolute, because nobody can be sent back to any place where he or she could be tortured. I am afraid that if there is no regular process by which people are screened and conditions in Syria assessed, that many people who would be send back under this agreement would actually be tortured or at risk of torture and that would be a violation of international law.”
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