Vance Center Launches Social Media Campaign to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners

The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice’s Human Rights and Access to Justice Program, under its Women in Prison Project, is launching a social media campaign starting on December 11 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (The Bangkok Rules). Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 21, 2010, the Bangkok Rules are the first international instrument that provides detailed guidelines on responding to the gender-specific needs of women in contact with the criminal justice system.

Although women represent a mino rity of the global prison population, their rate of imprisonment has been rapidly growing over the last two decades. As the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has said, “much more remains to be done to identify and address the pathways to women’s incarceration; to establish better, safer and more gender-sensitive conditions for women prisoners; to ameliorate the negative consequences of women’s imprisonment; and to reduce the numbers of women in prison around the world.”[1]

Answering this call, in 2018, the Vance Center’s Women in Prison Project convened the first international conference of women prisoners’ advocates in Bogota, Colombia. Out of this conference was created the first-ever global network of advocates for women prisoners: the Women in Prison Network. Connected via an online platform, the Network includes 45 individual advocates (including formerly incarcerated women) and 34 organizations from 21 countries representing every continent. The Network is a safe space for advocates to share information and best practices, seek collaborations, and build capacity for improved monitoring and reporting of conditions in women’s prisons worldwide.

The goal of the social media campaign is to raise awareness of the Bangkok Rules while showcasing the work of members of the Women in Prison Network. These advocates, often formerly incarcerated women themselves, have devoted their lives to improving conditions for women in prison all over the world.

Follow the hashtags #BangkokRules10 #womeninprison #rightsofwomeninprison and Vance Center on social media to learn more about the Bangkok Rules and the work of the Women in Prison Network on behalf of women in prison.

Instagram: @vancecenternyc
Facebook: @Vance.Center
LinkedIn: Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice
Twitter: @VanceCenter


[1] Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Pathways to, conditions and consequences of incarceration for women, U.N. Doc. A/68/340