Take Action to Help Stop Sexual Abuse in Detention

Sexual abuse in detention is a public health and human rights crisis. It makes places of detention such as correctional and Child and Youth Care centres more dangerous for people living there and for staff members. Many people in detention have experienced trauma in their lives — and instead of getting help while locked up, they return to their communities even more traumatised than before.

Sexual abuse in detention is a crisis, but it is not inevitable. At JDI-SA, we are optimistic that we can end it. Indeed, we must do so in order to fulfill the promise of our constitution and international human rights laws.

We call on parliament to ensure that the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) fully implements the Policy to Address the Sexual Abuse of Inmates in DCS facilities and the Standard Operating Procedure on the Management of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer Plus Inmates. Government has the responsibility to ensure that independent oversight bodies such as the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services (JICS) and the National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) have the resources and capacity to meet their mandate to protect the rights of incarcerated people. Meaningful oversight of DCS facilities is essential to preventing and responding to sexual abuse. To that end, we call on parliament to:

1. Make the necessary amendments to laws and policies in order to strengthen independent oversight mechanisms, and prioritise the allocation of resources for such mechanisms

2. Pass a resolution requiring full implementation of the policies intended to end sexual violence in detention facilities by DCS, South African Police Services, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Social Development and Department of Defence, and require the departments to provide annual reports to parliament on their progress in this regard.

We know we can end this crisis, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help.
Please join us in our fight for the rights of incarcerated people. Rape is not part of the penalty.

Endorse Our Call to Parliament