In 2014, PRI and DOST established a partnership to increase awareness of, and implement good policy and practice in line with the UN Bangkok Rules for the treatment of women prisoners.
In 2014, approximately 120 women were detained in the five prisons in which DOST work, the majority pre-trial, and 52 children were living with them. Most are detained for drug smuggling, trafficking, murder and prostitution, often driven by poverty, domestic conflict, and lack of education, awareness, and discrimination.
DOST carried out advocacy with parliamentarians, provincial government departments, prison authorities, and mobilised local civil society and universities; promoted the issue in the media; and trained personnel across the justice system.
In the 2016 Partnership Review, DOST highlighted the following achievements:
- High-level stakeholders, including the Inspector General of Prisons and the Provincial Ministry of Home and Tribal Affairs, have publicly committed to supporting the implementation of the UN Bangkok Rules.
- DOST and the Prisons Department are working together to pave the way for implementation of the UN Bangkok Rules into the Pakistan Prison Rules (PPR) at provincial level.
- There have been practical changes in prisons where women are held. For example, beds have been provided and there are also now daily visits by female medical staff and psychologists. DOST was able to provide technical expertise to the prison administration on, for example, search procedures and on admissions.
DOST says: “We need PRI because they are international experts. We have learned about ways we can approach and advocate to parliament and other stakeholders.”
PRI says: “DOST’s local expertise and presence enabled PRI to contribute to reform of the criminal justice system in the KP Province, which we would otherwise not have been able to do.