Theses Master's

(Re)framing Sexual Violence in Prison (SVP)

Jones, Adam Stephen

This paper seeks to draw the issue of sexual violence in prison (SVP) closer to the principles and practices of the human rights system, with a particular focus on nonState actor SVP and the right to freedom from torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Through an exploration of the response to nonState actor SVP in prisons in England and Wales, a series of procedural and systematic issues are identified that obstruct the fulfilment of the strict due diligence obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Article 3 of the European Court of Human Rights. Despite the presence of these due diligence failings, the paper finds that independent institutions that ought to be conveying concern are neglecting to do so and, as such, are contributing to the veiling of SVP. It is thus argued that understanding and framing nonState actor SVP as a violation of the supposedly nonderogable right to freedom from torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment when the State fails to exercise due diligence represents a fertile avenue for drawing much needed attention to SVP, amplifying the gravity of SVP, and heightening the degree of priority placed upon its resolution.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Cooper, Belinda
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 10, 2016


Full title: (Re)framing Sexual Violence in Prison (SVP): An Assessment of the Response to NonState Actor SVP in England and Wales with Regard for the Positive Obligations Associated with the NonDerogable Right to Freedom from Torture and Other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment